Ten BWI Students Ejected From WASSCE for Not Meeting Requirements

KAKATA, Margibi – At least ten junior students attending the Booker Washington Institute in Kakata were dismissed from writing this year’s West African Secondary School Certificate Examination after an investigation showed that they did not meet the criteria for the test.

BWI is a public, post-secondary school that enrolls students who have completed ninth grade. Junior students in the program are practically eleven grade students in the regular academic school.

Though the month-long test is meant to be administered to 12th graders, the school’s administration had controversially registered the junior students for the test. They were thrown out by examiners on the second day of the test after senior students also writing the test frowned on the action of the administration. Authorities of the Ministry of Education also expressed their disapproval of the administration’s decision.

Alexander Doupu, the deputy education minister for instruction, demanded that the students be prevented from writing the exam as it contravened the regulations and criteria set up by the West African Examination Council for candidate registration.

However, BWI’s communications officer told reporters two weeks ago that the ministry had been aware of the school’s decision.

But the administration’s claim was denied by the acting county education officer of Margibi, James Gaye, who noted that his office had never been informed of the reported pilot project.

Kalifa Sackor, one of the affected students, said the administration misled them to believe that their inclusion among the senior students to take this year’s WASSCE was a pilot project that met the consent of the education stakeholders.

“We were informed by the administration that we are going to write WASSCE and the Ministry of Education, WAEC, and the senior class were all aware of what we about to do,” Kalifa noted.

“With that information, we devoted our time in studying so that we can come out with flying color.”

Fabena Barduae was another student who was stopped from taking the test. She told reporters it was “disheartening to be made to exert so [much] effort in studying and such effort is made worthless due to blunder from the administration.”

The aggrieved students want the Education Ministry and WAEC to avoid penalizing them for next year’s examinations as senior secondary candidates.

This year’s WASSCE began on April 24 and ended on May 20, 2019. It was free for all students in both public and private schools across the country. The Ministry of Education said nearly 40,000 12th grade students from 651 schools were taking the regional exam.

Featured photo by Yawah Jaivey

Emmanuel Degleh

Emmanuel has over a decade of experience working as a community radio broadcaster. He is the Margibi correspondent for the Liberia Broadcasting System and the Manager for Classic FM 93.9 MHz, one of Liberia’s leading community radio stations. Emmanuel is also a member of the Press Union of Liberia and a 2016 Internews Health Journalism Fellow.

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