GANTA, Nimba â€“ In the wake of studentsâ€™ mass failure in the recent West African Examinations Council Exams, where only 34 percent of students passed, the owner of the Harriet E. Parkinson Memorial Academy in Ganta is blaming WAEC.
Ruth Paye attributed her studentsâ€™ failures to what she described as WAECâ€™s inability to conduct itself well, absolving her school from most, if not all of the blame.
â€œI will blame them firstÂ before I blame the students,â€ she said to reporters after a recent thanksgiving service at her institution. â€œBecause no one administered [the] WAEC [exams]; it was WAEC [itself] that administered the test.â€
The Harriet E. Parkinson Memorial Academy, one of the 13 high schools from Ganta that had students taking the exams this past June, had only six of its 16 candidates pass the tests. That passing rate was not much better than the national average.
Paye said her students cannot be the first to blame for their performance because they want to achieve academic excellence.
â€œWe know students nowadays are having their own problems, but there are some that are yearning for education,â€ she said. â€œI trusted my students very well and I know they were students who we prepared very well to sit the test.â€
Instead, Paye criticized WAEC for a variety of issues, including what she said was the organizationâ€™s â€œselection of few people to correct the [exams]â€ and its negligence in allowing the tests booklets to be stolen, which caused the organization to reschedule the tests.
She said â€œâ€¦the problem there is, how well was it protected?…such thing that determines someoneâ€™s life should be well protected, well taken care of so nothing can happen to it.â€
Results from the tests can have aÂ wide-ranging impact on students. They are required for college admissions, job applications, and even some visa applications from the US Embassy.