The Minister of Education, Ansu D. Sonii has described as "unacceptable and frustrating," the 651 students from 46 high schools, who failed all the nine subjects of the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) administered by the Monrovia National office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) for 2018/2019 academic year.
Out of the 46 schools, Montserrado County leads with 11 schools, followed by Grand Gedeh and Nimba counties with seven and six government-owned and privately run schools.
The WASSCE, which comprises nine subjects, was administered to 39,887 senior students between April and May 2019 at 237 centers nation-wide.
Minister Sonii said that the mass failure of these students is "unacceptable, because they sat in class from 10th to 12th grades, yet were unable to pass at least a single subject.
"Students from these schools not eligible to host any form of graduation/thanksgiving ceremony for academic year 2018/2019 as we urge them to place their students into the next private (re-sitters) examinations category. The ministry warns that any school violating this regulation will pay the fine of L$250,000 for each unauthorized student, who they would graduate. Notably, any student who failed WASSCE is not eligible to participate in graduation ceremony," Sonii said at a news conference on Thursday, July 25, 2019.
"Looking this statistic, we will soon begin reviewing school licenses and teaching staff qualifications to avoid such a scenario from repeating itself. As for the government schools, we are putting measures in place to avoid this national embarrassment," Min. Sonii added.
Meanwhile, he has said the current statistics of the result released points to a significant improvement in the results as compared to last academic year.
"Matter of fact, the student who duxed the Mathematics score this year came from Liberia, while students from other countries performed miserably. Current results show that 27,251 students, making up 68.85 percent, passed at least one subject of the examinations, while 12,329 students, constituting 21.15 percent, failed. Also, 8,714 candidates' results are being withheld for examination malpractices," he said.
Sonii said there was a jump in the total number of students, who passed with credits in five of the nine subjects, including Mathematics and English to 13 students, and 605 of the 651 schools recorded all candidates passing in at least one of the nine subjects.
For this year's WASSACE, 39,887 candidates registered from 651 schools, while only 39,580 candidates completed the examinations comprising 20,778 males and 18,802 females.
Of the students who completed, 28,408 candidates represent 71.22 percent were private schools students and 11,479 representing 28.78 percent were public school students.