In the year 2013, it will surely seem like an “April Fool” prank if you got up one morning and told your friend, neighbor, sister or brother that…”Did you know that all 25,000 candidates who paid about $25 or €16 to sit for the admission Exams into the University of Liberia failed the test?”.He or she would simply say something like…”get out of here” or “you must be joking”…but actually this is no “April fool” and no joke. This is the first time ever and a record in Africa or probably the world that every single student (about 25,000 of them) who wrote an entrance exam has failed. This technically means that the normally overcrowded University of Liberia will not have any new First-year students when schools re-open in September 2013.
The news of the result has reportedly sent shock waves down the spines of thousands of Liberian students hoping to get into university this year. According to other media sources, many have complained that their dreams have been shattered.
This development has forced Liberia’s Minister of Education, Mrs. Etmonia David-Tarpeh to meet with university officials to discuss the historic 100 percent failure rate. Minister David-Tarpeh was also alarmed as she said: “I know there are a lot of weaknesses in the schools but for a whole group of people to take exams and every single one of them to fail, I have my doubts about that”. She added that…”It’s like mass murder”.
The Minister of Education has expressed the desire to see the results for herself…indicating her doubts as to the way the exams were graded. But the University, as expressed by its spokesman Momodu Getaweh is standing by its decision insisting that it would not be swayed by “emotions”. A university official was quoted as saying that the students lacked enthusiasm and did not have a basic grasp of the English language.
That position will therefore confirm the fact that if nothing is done to redress the situation, there will actually be no first year Liberian students in University of Liberia this year, except maybe foreign students who might be applying from other countries, if that applies.
It should be noted that Liberia is still recovering from a brutal civil war that ended about 10 years ago.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently said that the country’s education system is still “in a mess” following the civil war and much needed to be done to improve it. African celebrities Magazine (ACM)’s contact on the ground in Monrovia, capital of Liberia supports the President’s assessment and confirms that many schools lack basic education material. Our ACM contact adds that teachers are also poorly qualified and few in number in relation to the student population.
For thousands of Liberian prospective university students, their future will be determined when the Minister of Education finally meets with University officials. If anything, this is a disaster that requires very serious considerations.