By: J-Karba Williams
For the first time in Liberia, the government has officially introduced compulsory tutorial classes for 12th grade students, in addition to regular weekly attendance in schools to prepare high school seniors for the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Speaking at the program marking the launch of the tutorial classes, Education Minister Professor Ansu Sonii said the objective of the tutorial classes for the 12th graders is to improve their scores in WASSCE so as to curb mass failure while warning against irregularities, as such will prevent them from sitting the exams.
He encouraged the students to be focused, determined and willing to learn adding that “they must be prepared to perform the best of their ability and their performance will be judged by the results from the examinations.”
Min. Sonii said the tutorial program is compulsory and optional adding that “any student who fails to attend the tutorials will be penalized as the government will not pay their WASSCE fees or allow them to sit the examination.”
In order to make the tutorial program better and competent, the minister urged all principals of high schools throughout the country to be effective in teaching the students to enable them become successful in their examinations.
Min. Sonii challenged principals of schools in Montserrado County to produce one of the top students, saying that any principal in Montserrado County whose school will produce one of the top students will receive an award of US$2,000 for better performance, adding that if the principal produces two best students from his school, that principal will receive two installments of the US$2,000.
Min. Sonii also extended similar challenges to principals in the rural areas that are hard to reach, saying “any principal who will manage to produce one of the top ten students will be rewarded with US$4,000.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Minister for Administration, Latim Da Thong, challenged the students to approach their study with dedication and enthusiasm in order to help them make a pass in the examinations.
The Deputy Minister inspired the students to take their lessons seriously, adding that President George Weah who grew up in slum areas and very poor communities was able to conquer the world of football, because he was able to be determined and dedicated.
He urged the student to understand that nothing comes easy in life, but with dedication and passion, they can achieve anything.
The government’s move to introduce the tutorial program for 12th grade students was instigated by the mass failure of students in the 2018 WASSEC results.
The result released by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that administered the examinations revealed that out of 33,979 candidates that sat the examinations, only 11,544 candidates, representing 33.85% made a successful pass, while 21,560 students failed in the senior high division.
It can be recalled that a total of 33,979 candidates from 600 senior high schools sat for the West African Senior High School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) administered in 2018.