Episcopal School Principal Condemns MOE, Vows to Graduate Students Who Failed Regional Exams

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Kakata, Margibi County – The Principal of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Mission High School in Kakata Abe Kortu Kekula has lambasted the Ministry of Education for setting passing mark in the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) as a pre-requisite for the graduation of 12th graders, terming the mandate as a violation of the country’s education administrative and management policies.

Kekula argues that the Ministry’s recent mandate was outside established standing policies of the education policy of the country.

“What constitutes graduation is the first thing the Ministry has not been able to define,” Kekula said. “Graduation is completing a course required by a student. The ministry is defining graduation as the activities that climax the completion of course of study.” 

The Ministry of Education recently directed that students who failed the WASSCE examine should re-enroll or re-sit but the Episcopal school principal claims that the directive is “ambiguous” and needed more clarity.

The Episcopal School’s Principal noted that the revised 2011 the education administrative regulations issued by the MOE as guiding principles and regulations to govern both public and private schools consider the WASSCE examinations as a major form of national assessment for 9th and 12th grades, and a pre-requisite for only college admission and not high school graduation. 

He added that it is the reason why students who failed the exams are allowed to do re-sitter in order to be eligible for enrollment at college and university.

Kekula added: “Under the assessment component of the Liberian Education Administrative and Management Policies, the Ministry stipulated series of assessment instruments that should be used in the school to guide students learning and teaching.” 

Continuing, Kekula noted, “What surprises [me] most is that the people that passed one subject in WASSCE are being considered passed. I was surprised for WAEC to come up to say when you passed one subject you passed and they were influenced by the Ministry of Education.”

The Liberian educator alleged that such decision by authorities of WACE and MOE was unfortunate and only intended to “save the country face” from the international community outside of the reality, adding that “it’s not a shame to say you are not prepared”. 

He also frowned on the Ministry for allegedly ordering the resignation or dismissal of principals of public schools that performed poorly in the WASSCE exams, adding that the MOE has attributed to the students’ poor performance solely on the schools’ headmasters and teachers.

“All they want is for people to say that the Ministry is getting tough and that is not being tough that is being political. The Ministry is excluding itself from its own responsibility and not even providing the minimum teaching facilities and instructional materials to public schools,” Kekula asserted.

The St. Augustine’s Episcopal Mission High School Principal wants the Ministry to be realistic, takes on responsibility and desists from politicizing education and blame-shifting on schools administrators and teachers.

In a somewhat defiant tone, Kekula vowed that despite his school’s recording less number of failures in the WASSCE examination, he will go ahead with the graduation of students that failed the regional exams.

He, however, said his action will not in any way breach the country’s education regulations for public and private schools.

He promised to challenge the Ministry of Education in the court of Laws if it makes any intend to impose fines against his institution.       

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