Liberia News: 12TH GRADERS’ FATE IN LIMBO

By: Washington Tumay Watson

Monrovia-Feb-9-TNR: Several parents are said to be worried over the government’s inability to pay their children’s fees to sit this year’s West African Senior Secondary Certificate Exam (WASSCE).

Former President George Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led the government in 2018 and were able to declare the payment of all 12th graders and all public school’s 9th graders’ WASSCE and WAEC Fees.

Though WAEC boss, Dale Gbotoe confirmed that Liberia is indebted to the examination body US$5 million.

During the 2023 legislative and presidential elections the CDC was promulgating on the payment of the WASSCE and WACE fees and that the electorates should reelect President Weah for continuity as a means of relieving the constrained parents who often face the problem of paying such fees.

Previously students visited top government officials’ offices during the reign of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for them to pay their WACE fees something former President Weahsaid was not decent and his government would not allow parents pay WASSCE fees as long he was President.

But the Unity Party during the 2023 elections told Liberians that it was not going to get itself involved in the payment of WASSCE and WAEC fees for students as it was not legislated.

UP at the time, maintained that parents can pay their children’s tuition and could also pay WASSCE and WAEC fees for their children if their salaries increase.

The CDC-led government did not legislate such policy and the Unity Party government when they were in opposition criticized the manner in which the fees was being paid by former President Weah.

On the other hand, President Joseph Boakai has yet to assure parents of the government’s intent to undo or continue the payment of the fees for 12th graders.

Recently, the Liberia Office of WAEC announced that Liberia owes US$5.5 million as a contribution to WAEC, and if the country does not settle the payment, candidates might not be allowed to sit the exam.

With such information, several parents are calling on the Liberian government through President Boakai to make it clear if the government will continue to pay their children’s fees.

According to them, some school administrations are collecting the WAEC and WASSCE fees as a means of preparing the students for the exams.

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