Senior high school students across the country were expected to sit the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams on Monday, May 23 but the exams were cancelled due to what the Ministry of Education calls “unethical and fraudulent practices against exams procedures and preparation as well as the discovery of stolen exams papers.”
According to sources, the test materials were stolen from the storeroom located at the Konola SDA High School campus in Margibi County from the school principal, Madam Rebecca G. Yealue’s office.
As a consequence of the thievery, the head of the Monrovia office of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) John Gayvolor told a news conference Tuesday that the Council will need about US$300,000 to reprint the exams.
Addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, the WAEC boss mentioned that the funding will also cover the shipment of the exam materials in country.
Gayvolor indicated that prior to the incident WAEC had earlier secured 210 testing centers and hired the services of more than 1,564 porters for the smooth conduct of the exam.
“We have earmarked June 27 to July 2 for the conduct of the exam, therefore the resources are urgently needed to help fast track the exam reprint exercise,” he stressed, noting, “We could not administer an exam that were stolen, some unscrupulous individuals want to ensure that the WAEC exam loses credibility, but we are committed to ensuring that students are better prepared for future challenges.”
He added that despite the exam papers been manned by state security including WAEC security officers, one of each nine subjects was stolen.
For her part, Deputy Education Minister for Instruction Romelle A. Horton indicated that the exams cancelation is intended to install confidence and help strengthen the educational system of the country by ensuring transparency and accountability.
Madam Horton further disclosed that the Ministry of Education (MOE) in collaboration with West African Examination Council (WAEC) has put into place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that the act is not repeated.
“We have launched a full scale investigation into the matter and the public must be assured that anyone found culpable of the crime will be required to face the law,” she emphasized.