The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) have disclosed that nearly US$300,000 is needed to print a new test for senor high school candidate after irregularities led to rescheduling of the May 23 version.
According to the Ministry of Education, the money will cover printing, packaging and shipping cost of the test.
WAEC administered this year’s national exam to junior high school students on 19 and 20 May and was expected to begin the senior high school component on Monday, May 23, when authorities of the council abruptly cancelled the test on Sunday, a day before it was given.
WAEC said the decision was prompted by an alert it received that on Saturday, May 21, its Konola Mission depot was broken into by unidentified persons who made away with one copy of each of the nine exams.
Following the alert, the Ministry of Education announced the cancellation of the test and rescheduled it for Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press conference Tuesday in Monrovia, Deputy Education Minister Dr. Ronelle Horton described the situation as regrettable, cost intensive and totally embarrassing to government, and promised to ensure the institution of necessary measures to prevent a recurrence.
According to Dr. Horton, the Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1, exams will be administered at 210 centers across the country.
“Already hired are 225 supervisors and 1,564 proctors and 96 depots or centers for supply with WAEC securities to mind them,” she added.
She noted that while the cancellation of the exam is embarrassing, it will be advisable for students to use the time to study rather than being idle.
Also speaking at the press conference, the head of WAEC, John Gayflor, said the Council began the administration of its international exams in March this year followed by the junior high component but was obstructed by the Konola situation which, he said, has thrown the work of the Council backward with major cost to government.
He is appealing to international partners to assist with funding to get the exams printed and administered on schedule.
“We are blessed that this is our national exam and not the international one or else our country would have faced serious consequences,” the WAEC boss noted.
Meanwhile, the government of Liberia is warning against the graduation of students sitting this year’s Senior Secondary High School Certificate exams.
While government did not announce punitive action, it called on school administrators to cooperate with its mandate.
It is customary in Liberia that all students sitting the WAEC exams are not graduated before the results of the exams are released.
Thousands of senior high school students, comprising those of the condensed Ebola academic year, and the 2015/2016 candidates are expected to sit the June 27 to July 1 exams.