17-Yr-Old Andyietta Blessing Jalieba of St. Theresa Covent High School Tops WASSCE in Liberia

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Ms. Jalieba of the Catholic-run all-girls school, came first among three best-performing students for the 2020 WASSCE, including Alicia A. Wright, also of St. Theresa Convent High School (TSC) and Lela P. Wapoe of the Light International School System in Monrovia. 

Monrovia – Seventeen-year-old Andyietta Blessing Jalieba of St. Theresa Convent High School was in total disbelief when news broke that she dux this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), a type of standardized test in West Africa administered for students before completing secondary school.

Ms. Jalieba of the Catholic-run all-girls school, came first among three best performing students for the 2020 WASSCE, including Alicia A. Wright, also of St. Theresa Convent High School (TSC) and Lela P. Wapoe of the Light International School System in Monrovia. 

“I was in total disbelief when my brother came running that I dux WASSCE,” Jalieba said in an interview with FrontPage Africa on Saturday, a day following the announcement of her extraordinary achievement by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Liberia.

“I was confident that I was going to make a pass, but I never had the slightest thought that I would come first in the whole country. I believe that I am not the smartest person who sat WASSCE, but it was just by the grace of God. That’s why I am grateful to God first, and to my amazing teachers for the teaching and disciplines they instill in us.”

She congratulated her friends, Wright and Wapoe for their exceptional performance and said their success was an indication that female students can do better as compared to their male counterparts.

Speaking further, she called on all those who were not successful during this year’s exams, especially the girls, to never give up, but should keep their dreams alive.

She said: “Anyone that sat the WASSCE but did not make it, I want you to have the faith that next time you can, and most of all just have faith in God. As you are re-siting the test, just pray and leave everything with God. Just have the faith and have the confidence that nothing is impossible. No matter who people think you are, just believe in yourself that you can do better because only you can see the best within you. You have to start believing in yourself before others can believe in you.”

She continued: “People don’t really believe that female can do extra in our society, and being a female, it is a very good thing. And I believe all females are strong, we are capable of what we can do. So, never stop pushing, never stop dreaming and never stop aiming high. You can do better and you can be the best.”

She also thanked the administration, ‘amazing teachers’ and her parents for the support throughout the years, and said her achievement has propelled her to keep her dream of becoming a medical doctor (Gynecologist) alive.

One of her teachers, J. S. Ballah Baysah, told FrontPage Africa that his students’ performance came as no surprise.

“Our students’ performance was not a surprise to me because we laid the foundation and they have been exceptional over the years,” Baysah said.

“We have up-to-date laboratory and library and trained and qualified teachers. We incorporated the WAEC syllables and the student made use of the opportunity. I am just proud of their success and wish them all the best,” he added.

The exams this year in Liberia was postponed due the COVID-19 global pandemic that interrupted school activities in Liberia and other parts of the region.

After much delay, it was finally administered in Liberia from August 17 to September 2, 2020. The head of WAEC Liberia, Mr. Dale G. Gboto, at a news conference on Friday said, more students passed in 2020 as compared to the last two years.

The statistics show that 41,538 12th graders from 707 schools sat the exams, and of the number, 21,363 are males and 20,175 students are females.

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