24 May 2016

Liberia: Deo Urges Students to Keep Focus

Amidst serious exams theft in Margibi County, the District Educational Officer for the Salala District School System in Bong County, Samuel Y. Koenig, has urged Liberians students to remain focus and law-abiding, if they are to make successful passes in the West African Examination Council or WAEC exams.

The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the West African Examination Council or WAEC on Sunday, 22 May announced cancellation of the WAEC exams, specifically for 12th graders after the leakage over the weekend, nearly 10 years after similar decision was taken by the government in 2007.

Exam questionnaires from the Head Offices of the West African Examination Council in Monrovia sent to the Konola Mission Academy in Margibi County to be administered to 12th graders were allegedly stolen over the weekend, leading to the cancellation.

The exams were to be administered to 12th graders across the country, beginning Monday, 23 May, but the Ministry of Education has set June 27 to July 1, 2016 as new date for the exams. Margibi County Education Officer or CEO Madam Gorma Mannie, confirmed the theft to this paper, but declined to provide detail on grounds that investigations were ongoing.

The questionnaires were reportedly stolen during the early morning hours (12 to 1 A.M.) of Saturday, 21May after an alleged burglary of the office of the Principal of the Konola Mission Academy, Madam Rebecca G. Yealue.

However, DEO Koenig stressed that if students follow instructions on the test and concentrate well, they would do excellently in writing the exams. He spoke recently to reporters in Salala, noting that sometimes students fail in the exams because they do not follow instructions and focus on their education. He said they are also caught in exam malpractices because they are not academically prepared so they depend on their colleagues for to test answers.

The DEO expressed optimism that 9th and 12th graders, most especially from Salala District are adequately prepared, and will come out with flying colors. Mr. Koenig disclosed that his district has trained and qualified teachers who have taught the students all necessary materials they need to know, and emphasized that the WAEC exam is very important because it is a means of assessing students' qualification to enroll at the next level.

DEO Samuel Y. Koenig who has served for two years in Salala District, said in Bong County, there are eight school districts, and last academy year's report indicates that Salala tops the other districts which means the students in Salala did pretty well.

The Liberian educators says he has a good working relationship with other school authorities in the district and he holds periodic meetings with these school authorities to strategize an education network strategy.

According to him, the strategy requires that schools in the district sent progress reports to one another to avoid students having deficiencies in the school system.

He also spoke of fuel shortage, lack of stationeries, and spending personal cash, among others as few of the challenges in doing his work as a DEO because support from government does not last to end of the year.


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