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All 25,000 students fail the entrance exam for university in Liberia


"The parents are going to KILL me"
Image: Facepalm statue via Shutterstock

EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 25,000 students who sat the entrance exam for Liberia’s main public university this year failed – and, understandably, the country’s president isn’t too happy.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited the campus of the University of Liberia yesterday and said that the failure was because of the low standards in school, which had not adequately prepared the students, rather than with the university.

The educational system is now a national emergency, President Johnson Sirleaf said.

The head of the university said none of the students received the required 70 per cent grade in the maths and English admission tests.

“After much deliberation, the Faculty Senate set 50 per cent in Maths and 70 per cent in English for passing; again, nobody whatsoever made the mark,” said Dr Emmet A Dennis.

In the end, university authorities admitted just over 1,600 candidates who did the best out of all the applicants.

“The problem is not just taking the test and failing,” said President Johnson Sirleaf. “The problem is where they are coming from – so we have to go into those high schools, into those elementary schools and see what is lacking and what we can do about it.”

The Liberian leader said the situation was “embarrassing” and called on the university authorities to work with the Ministry of Education and others to find solutions to the problem.

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“Why are the students of the system not peforming to the standards expected?”, she asked in a statement. “Why are they not comparative with those in other countries? Why are our WAEC exams [standardised tests across a number of countries] not at the same level as the rest of the African countries, and we have a lower standard to adjust?”.

Sirleaf won the Nobel peace prize for her role in helping end Liberia’s long-running civil war which ended just over a decade ago, which left the west African country devastated.

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