11 December 2012

Liberia: Methodist School Increases WAEC Fees

The Bishop Arthur Kulah United Methodist School in Virginia, outside Monrovia has increased fees for the West African Examinations Councils' exam, but the Principal of the school has justified the increment.

According to a document from the Test Administration Division of WAEC dated September 28, 2012, under the subject: "Entry Information for the May 2013 WAEC Examinations" indicates that fees for the junior and senior high schools certificate examination are LD$1,150.00 and LD$1,850.00 respectively."

WAEC also charged a non-compulsory checking fee of LD$200.00 for candidates or schools wishing to obtain the result checker cards totaling LD$1,350.00 and LD$2,050.00 respectively for junior and senior high schools.

However, in a citation to parents and guardians regarding the May 2013 examinations, the Administration of Bishop Arthur Kulah School instructed the parents to pay LD$1,800.00 and LD$2,500.00 respectively for junior and senior high school students as registration for WAEC exams contrary to WAEC's fees of LD$1,150.00 and LD$1,850.00.

The Principal of the Bishop Arthur Kulah United Methodist School justified the extra fees and said the addition was intended to underwrite other costs. The school is owned and operated by the United Methodist Church of Liberia through the Methodist school system.

The principal who refused to disclose his full name to our reporter said the extra fees were intended to undergo other costs associated with the examinations, including printing of summary sheets, the purchase and preparation of the registration CDs, hiring of manpower, among others.

He said school administrations were instructed by WAEC to submit copies of summary sheets, registration CDs which he claimed involved extra spending.

He said in order to meet up with WAEC's mandate and the expectations of the students, the administration decided to add LD$450.00 to the stipulated fees to allow them carry out the work as was instructed by the Council.

The Bishop Kulah School Principal who refused to be taped or photographed said as a result of the additional fees, his administration was able to purchase a computer and hire an individual to perform the task.

On the issue of the non-compulsory checking fees, the Methodist Principal promised to have typed his full response to the allegation on Friday, November 30, 2012, but failed to fulfill his promise up to press time.

The Principal said he has nothing to hide and those who wish to understand issues about the school should contact the administration rather than the media.

He claimed that the additional fees were agreed upon by the school and parents.

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