WASSCE: How Prepared are Liberian Students?

first_imgOn Tuesday, April 1, 2014, the Head of the National Office of the West African Examinations Council in Monrovia (WAEC), Mr. John Y. Gayvolor, Sr., announced that the 5,034 students who registered to sit this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), will begin writing the exams today, Thursday.Reading from a prepared list of statistics regarding the number of registered students late Tuesday evening, April 1, at his Congo Town office, Mr. John Y. Gayvolor, Sr., disclosed that of the number of registered students, 2,569 are males constituting 51.03 percent, while 2,495 are females, who constitute 48.97 percent.To this number, Mr. Gayvolor reported an increment of 765 or 17.92 percent, against the number of students that sat the test last academic year.Unlike last year when students who sat the WASSCE represented 32 schools only in Montserrado and Margibi counties, this year students registered from a total of 47 schools in three counties, including Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa.The WAEC head of office told the Daily Observer that of the 47 schools, seven are publicly-owned and constitute 15.91 percent; the remaining 37 or 84.09 percent represent privately-owned or faith-based institutions.Processes leading to the registration of students for WASSCE, Mr. Gayvolor said, were “opened to all schools across the country, but with this number of students that registered for the exercise, it leaves one to wonder as to whether the Liberian students in general were adequately prepared for the tests.”With the writing of the WASSCE, WAEC is of the hope that by next academic year, writing of the WAEC may phase out, and in its place, the WASSCE will be fully activated.Writing the WASSCE will continue up to the end of the April 2014 in keeping with the rules that govern its administration.Unlike the WASSCE, which covers many more subject areas than its predecessor, the WAEC had previously been offered in only four subject areas, with multiple-choice questions. It later increased to nine subjects. But the WASSCE covers all subject areas, testing the breadth of each student’s world view through general knowledge questions.Considering Liberia’s own curriculum where the students are taught in nine to twelve subject areas, the WASSCE is more complex because of the inclusiveness of all subject areas from Math to Music, English to Economics, Shorthand to Computer Science, etc.At a stakeholders’ meeting three weeks prior to the commencement of the WASSCE, principals from various schools in Monrovia and its environs were expected to tell the WAEC administration how academically prepared their students are. Instead, some of them spoke of the constraints and challenges their respective schools were faced with due to lack of libraries, laboratories and modern (approved) curriculum and instructional materials.Some of them even spoke of lack of qualified instructional staff, meaning most of the teachers assigned to the high school levels were themselves not academically up to the task to prepare the students, particularly in the fields of sciences, which formed part of the compulsory subjects featured in the WASSCE.That open outcry from school administrators complaining of constraints and challenges in the sector sent signals of near-panic apprehension as to how well prepared the students would be for this new standardized test. This has no doubt invoked fears of a repeat “mass failure” by students, similar to the recent instance with the entrance exams at the University of Liberia in 2013.What is WASSCE?The WASSCE is a type of standardized test in West Africa. It is administered by the WAEC and is only offered to candidates residing in Anglophone West African countries.However, there are two different types of the examinations: WASSCE, (November/December) also known by its former name, the General Certificate Examinations (GCE). All students from private and public schools are allowed to take this examination, and uniforms are not compulsory.Moreover, other rules and regulations are applied on every candidate.Then there is WASSCE (May/June) – also known as the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), its former name. It is made for all private and public schools in West Africa.Students must wear distinctive uniforms as required by the standards set by the school boards. This examination is offered in the months of May to June, and the results are available by August.The following compulsory subjects including English Language, Mathematics, and Civic Education are offered for WASSCE candidates. Other subjects including Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Geography, Technical Drawing, Financial Accounting, French, Commerce, Economics, Physical Education, Metal Works, Auto Mechanics, Music, Shorthand, Clothing Textiles, Islamic Studies, Literature in English, Building Construction, Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa Languages, Foods Nutrition, Visual Art, Typewriting, Christian Religious Knowledge, History, Arabic, Agricultural and Health Sciences, Applied Electricity, Electronics, Woodwork, Home Management, Government, Computer Science and Information Technology.  Students are expected to choose from among the list of subjects, based on academic or possible career interest, which one they would be best prepared to write.With this elaborate list of the subjects, one would agree that the education system in post-war Liberia might still be in its infancy, if not “messy” state as the President once described it since, at some of the high schools, particularly the public schools, none of the subjects that are listed for WASSCE are offered or even introduced to the students as a possible focus.The curriculum does not offer any of Liberia’s 16 tribal languages as one of the required subjects.  The Vai language of western Liberia is one of the only African languages that can boast of its own, original script.  Also, at the university level, where Kpelle is being introduced because of its popular use throughout the country, the teaching manuals are scarce, if at all available.The preparedness of majority of Liberian students for this new academic regime (WASSCE), therefore, leaves much to be desired.At the completion of these exams, students will be graded by merit and sorted into categories of performance.  The top three categories are known as divisions, with grades between 65% (Division 3) and 100% (Division 1).  To achieve a borderline pass in the exam, a candidate must obtain (score) a grade point between 100 to at least 44 percent.No doubt, the bar has been raised and, with the ousting of the infamous “flexibility fees” and pre-WAEC camps conducted by schools, the chances of cutting corners by both students and school administrations alike are getting slimmer.  The only way up may through good, old-fashioned discipline and hard work.  Perhaps one can begin to look forward to a caliber of schools that can make their students stand out, and a reciprocal caliber of students that can make their school(s) proud.But beginning today, each school and each student will have to face the test, standing on his or her own two feet.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

‘26’ Orator Wants Liberians Engage in “Back Yard Gardens”

first_imgLiberia 186th Independence Day orator, Ambassador Charles A. Minor, has called on Liberians to engage in back yard garden to enable them graduate from the past and build a foundation of growth.Ambassador Minor made the suggestion when delivered this year’s Independence Day oration in Greenville, Sinoe County, under the theme, “Celebrating Our Community as a Strong Foundation for Accelerated Development.”Ambassador Minor expressed the hope for a day that Liberia will reduce poverty, when the citizens should eat tomatoes, cabbages, peppers and other vegetables grown in their back yards and or in the nearby gardens rather than eating the imported ones.He continued that Liberians should be looking for a tomorrow when they will have substantially reduced poverty through the growing of their own backyard gardening.He said Liberians should look toward a tomorrow when they will import only the raw cotton gin, and perhaps cotton from nearby suppliers to produce yarn to weave, knit and stitch textile materials for the domestic and export markets.”Ambassador Minor further said Liberians are anticipating a tomorrow when many in the public sector will realize that it is not in that sector where wealth is created so that those genuinely interested in creating wealth can give up their white collar jobs and return to the land to produce our staple rice and other food crops to reduce our dependence on imports and ensure a greater level of food self-sufficiency in the country.He added it is important for every Liberian to earn a higher standard of living for their labor from tailing the soil.The orator noted that for tomorrow to be successful, ‘We are today laying the foundation, and a tomorrow when Liberians will work together more effectively and compete seriously with foreign contractors to build our own roads, even to the extent of making them toll roads, thereby reducing the continuous increasing burdens on government, which we all know will never be in the position to meet all the expectations of all our people.”Mr. Minor said farmers are yet to earn above the poverty threshold, “because of their small land holdings, limited technical know- how, irregular and limited extension services, insufficient high yielding planting materials and marketing advice, you will find it fruitful working together for that is how greater assistance can be obtained.”To those that are roaming the streets, he admonished them to look forward to a day where they will do something to meaningfully contribute to the success story of the country, because they too have yet to cultivate the skills to attract a remunerative wage paying jobs, offer to become an apprentice and accept a minimum wage today so that tomorrow, they would have acquired some skills to improve their capacity to obtain a decent job.He urged them to look at the growing building industry, and see the increasing demand for skilled, craftsmen and women who are meaningfully contributing to the building of the society.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

World Girls Defeat Island Queens 3-0

first_imgOn Saturday, Coach Junior of Island Queens could not believe what fate had for his side when they went down 3-0 against World Girls at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.Though Island Queens had several chances and could have scored the opening goal, they made hopeless use of their chances.World Girls, with a trio of Miatta Morris, Josephine Pajibo and Nancy Williams in the attack, taught their opponents how to put the ball into the net.With a rising tide of attacks, Josephine Pajibo found the curtain raiser to end the first half.Back from recess, Island Queens could not make use of further chances that came their way and fumbled in front of their opponents’ goalkeeper, with the ball more often entangled between their strikers legs.But when the tide changed World Girls’ Nancy Williams and Miatta Morris completed the onslaught with exciting runs of speed and power.Though Coach Junior blamed inadequate support to the female teams for his team’s defeat, his side could not just make use of the chances that came their way.On three occasions, Island Queens players upfront fumbled before the goal, allowing the opposing goalkeeper to collect the ball to safety.“Queens’ problem is how to put the ball into the net,” said a soccer fan. “The team’s coach should concentrate on developing goal-scorers.”The female soccer league started with material support from the Liberia Football Association. The Daily Observer learned that each of the 8 teams received two sets of jerseys, 12 footballs, and Ld180, 000.The LFA said the total cash for each team is US$5,000 as a way to develop the female component of the soccer league.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tourism body signs MoU to attract Diaspora

first_imgThe Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the United Guyanese Diaspora Global Network Corp (UGDGN) have entered into a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to engage the Guyanese Diaspora in various forms of tourism.The collaboration agreement is the first of its kind between the GTA and a Diaspora organisation, and promises attractive travel packages for the Diaspora community and information regarding travel opportunities.One of Guyana’s tourism destinations – the Kaieteur FallsAccording to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the signatory for the UGDGN, Wayne Forde, “Signing this MoU with the Guyana Tourism Authority gives the United Guyanese Diaspora Global Network Corp a focused vision on how we can infuse fresh energies and aspiration for the greater good of Guyana. The ingredients to ignite the prosperity engines of Guyana will take a united effort from all of our affinity groups signing up as evangelists for our homeland and coming together using technologies to crystallise a shared vision coupled with an execution game plan along with an innovative edge.”Forde further enthusiastically stated that UGDGN would be upgrading its web presence (www.ugdgn.org) to transform it into a central opportunity and information hub for happenings within the Diaspora and the homeland.Currently, he noted that the database consists of 400+ Guyanese Diaspora Organisations in New York, Atlanta, Toronto, London and beyond, thereby giving Guyanese a critical tool to consolidate their virtual community and grow it into an engaged powerhouse.GTA Director Brian Mullis explained that such partnerships were vital to the success of Guyana’s overall tourism strategy.“The alliance with the UGDGN will ensure that the GTA is positioned to more effectively and efficiently reach the Guyanese Diaspora, raise awareness of the growing variety of tourism attractions and experiences, and strengthen Diaspora engagement and visitation to Guyana in the process,” he noted.North America and the United Kingdom are Guyana’s core markets with a growing number of Diaspora and leisure travellers seeking out authentic and meaningful cultural heritage, nature and adventure experiences in unspoilt destinations.last_img read more

Grocers’, unions’ talks break down

first_imgJust days before a grocery contract expires for some 70,000 union workers in Southern California, negotiations between Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs and the unions have broken down. The three grocery chains refuse to talk and have dismissed union proposals because the members have not authorized a strike, said Rick Icaza, head of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770. “They’re really not under the gun until we have a strike vote,” Icaza said. Not true, said Adena Tessler, a spokeswoman hired by the chains. Each has offered dates to sit down and meet. Union members can also work without a contract or agree to extend the current contract. The chains are not without recourse, either. They can lock out employees if no deal is in place. They have made it clear they don’t mind waiting for a resolution. “We’ve been pretty consistent in saying that Monday’s date is not a significant date in the negotiations because it’s very common for these negotiations to go on months past the expiration of a contract,” Tessler said. The seven UFCW unions decided to negotiate individually with each of the three chains this year, creating 21 sets of negotiations. Two other grocery chains, Stater Bros. and Gelson’s, have negotiated a new contract. Both ended a two-tier system, the unions said. julia.scott@dailynews.com (818) 713-3735160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The grocery companies will tell you that the union is not responding to them,” Tessler said. “That’s why there’s no dates as far as we’re concerned.” When negotiations fell apart three years ago, workers went on a 139-day strike – the largest in the nation’s history. One of the results was a two-tier benefits system for employees, which still remains a point of contention. The system gives veteran employees richer benefits than new hires, which has led to high turnover and training costs, the union said. But the chains say the system is working just fine. Now, there is only a sliver of a chance for a new deal before the contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Monday. As time runs out, the possibility of a strike is gaining ground. To strike, union members must take a strike-authorization vote, which could happen next week. If approved, it would allow workers to strike at any time. last_img read more


first_imgGAA: Donegal star Paul Durcan has candidly spoke about his error in last year’s All-Ireland Final defeat to Kerry.Paul DurcanDurcan was left devastated by his mistake and contemplated walking away from the game he loves.In a candid interview with BALLS.ie – Durcan revealed how it was the support of the people around him that really helped him to get over the pain of his error. He praised the role of Donegal manager Rory Gallagher who he said ultimately convinced him to return to the squad ahead of the 2015 season.Durcan was speaking on a podcast called ‘The Hard Shoulder’ and vividly recalls the moment he botched his kickout.Durcan said, “I remember it so well, my heel didn’t hit the ground and the ball didn’t go in the direction it was supposed to.“He (Donaghey) got it and clinically dispatched it to the back of the net. “It’s amazing how such a simple mistake can cause you so much pain, but thankfully with the support of those around me I slowly started to get over it.“I did contemplate walking away but deep down I knew I couldn’t finish my Donegal career in them circumstances.“Rory was very good too. He was in touch with me since he got the job. I was kind of wondering would I go back to it and he convinced me.“And to be honest I think I had my best year for Donegal this year.Durcan is a huge fans favourite with Donegal and supporters are hoping he will return for the 2016 season. Durcan has recently moved to Qatar and that seemed to signal the end of his Donegal career.However, Durcan has dismissed those suggestions and has claimed he will return for the Ulster SFC next May.PAUL DURCAN REVEALS HOW HE GOT OVER ‘THAT’ MISTAKE IN LAST YEAR’S ALL-IRELAND FINAL was last modified: August 25th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGAAnewsPaul DurcanSportlast_img read more


first_imgGLENSWILLY GAA NOTESNominations and motions for AGMThis year’s AGM will take place on Sunday, November 22nd at 4pm in the clubhouse. Nomination sheets have been sent out by the club secretary. All nominations and motions must be sent to club secretary Aisling McDaid at Glenkeeragh, Newmills by 5pm on November 13th next. Everyone is urged to attend the AGM. Ladies AGMThe ladies section of the club will host their own AGM in the clubhouse on November 13th at 8pm. Nominations and motions should be returned to Deirdre McDaid, Glenkeeragh, Newmills by 5pm on November 6th. Again all members involved with the ladies are asked to attend.Minor board presentation nightThe presentation nights for all underage players will take place in the clubhouse on Sunday, December 6th. We will post a time for the night and any other details closer to the time. Croke Park ticketsThe club has been allocated one thousands fundraising tickets by Croke Park. The tickets are priced at €10 each. ALL money raised through the sale of the tickets by the club will go directly back to the club. The only issue now is to tell them! Anybody who can sell tickets is asked to contact club treasurer Bryan Faul.Return of gearAs the season is now over for most teams, club treasurer Bryan Faul is looking to do a round-up of all the gear. Can all managers please email him with the quantity of gear they have including balls, jerseys, bibs, etc? It can then be arranged for the gear to be lifted or dropped off. Thanks.Club lotto won The lotto was won last week by Sarah Dunnion from Dungloe who is a regular bingo player and who also does the lotto on the night. Sarah picked up the jackpot which was €1,940. This week’s jackpot will start off again at €1,400.ScorAnyone who would like to perform or help out in the Scor na nOg this year to should contact Seamus Callaghan 0861673545 or by email seamuscallaghan@ymail.com asap. Anyone who wishes to take part will need to be registered before 24/10/15. We can take part in the competition in Glenfin on Sunday 8th Nov. 15. This is a chance for solo singers, ballad group , musicians, quiz masters and potential actors/actresses to showcase their talents while representing the Club.U12 blitz The U12 boys enjoyed a good blitz at O’Donnell Park on Bank Holiday Monday. The other three teams involved were host St Eunans, Buncrana and Termon. Many thanks to the host club for their kind hospitality.Card DriveThe club’s 25 Card Drive will take place on Friday, November 20th next in the clubhouse. The night starts at 8pm and there will be €2,500 in prizes along with the Barney Pat Memorial Cup.BingoThe bingo will continue in the hall every Wednesday for the winter months. The evening starts at 9pm but players are advised to come earlier to get a seat. Anyone wishing to help should contact Paul Lapsley. The club would also like to say a heartfelt thanks to all bingo players who have come to the sessions for the past year.First aid courseAny men interested in taking part in a one day first aid course are asked to contact the club’s health and welfare officer Elaine McFadden.Family Fortunes at McClaffertysFamily Fortunes will be held at McClaffertys in Churchill starting on Friday, November 6th. All proceeds will be split between the club and Glendowan NS so al members are encouraged to attend – or even to elect a team. You don’t have to be a family!NotesAnyone with anything for the club notes should email them before Monday night to stephenwmaguire@gmail.com.GAA NEWS: NOMINATIONS AND MOTIONS SOUGHT FOR GLENSWILLY AGM was last modified: October 27th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Glenswilly GAA noteslast_img read more


first_imgAs part of the Churchill Fair Glenswilly over 40’s will play Termon over 40’s at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th at Glenswilly GAA ground.It should be a bit of craic with the legendary Frankie Doherty coming out of retirement to ref the game.But the question is ‘Who will keep up with who?’ There are rumours that the Termon team are even bringing in a certain Anthony Tohill out of retirement!Proceeds of game to Donegal GAA Training Centre in Convoy. CRAIC PROMISES TO BE ‘OVER 40’ AT CHURCHILL FAIR GAA CHALLENGE! was last modified: July 14th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Chaffey cashes in on turnovers in win

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Trying to regain the lead going into halftime, Montclair (4-3, 1-1) turned to young quarterback Justin Orona who completed his first seven passes. Orona completed a 25-yard slant to Landon Richardson to put the Cavaliers within striking distance at the Chaffey 44 with 48 seconds remaining. On the next play, though, Tashawn Williams fumbled the ball and Chaffey recovered at the Montclair 48. Two David Naeata passes later and the Tigers were knocking down the door. Brown took a pitch and punched it in from a yard out for a 14-7 lead, his second of three touchdowns on the night. It didn’t get any better for Williams or the Cavaliers in the second half. Deep in Montclair territory, Williams fumbled the first play of scrimmage in the second half, and Samuel recovered at the Cavalier 14. Samuel also had a sack and tackle for loss. “Usually when you win the turnover battle you will win the game,” Chaffey coach Chris Brown said. “That fumble recovery (in the third quarter) and that interception kind of sealed the game for us.” Dan Moreno picked off the pass and returned it 25 yards untouched for a 27-7 Chaffey lead. Three minutes later Brown was in the end zone again. Naeata found Brown wide open. Brown faked inside, then went toward the sideline, making the safety bite to the middle slipping in the process. That was all the separation Brown needed as he dashed to the end zone for a 20-7 lead. It was not all downhill for the Cavaliers. They held Chaffey’s other power back, Jon Alejandro, to only 43 yards on 15 carries and scored on their first drive. Starting from their own 13, Orona marched the Cavaliers down field going 6-for-6 for 51 yards. From the Tiger 3-yard line, Orona pump-faked to the flat, then handed off to Williams for the score and a 7-0 lead. After that drive Orona went 2-for-9 with an interception. “Happy feet,” Cav coach Steve Sullivant said. “We got nervous and everyone got anxious, then we started dropping the ball.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img MONTCLAIR – Spurred by a ball-hungry defense and grinding back Chris Brown, the Chaffey Tigers cruised to a 27-7 victory over Montclair Friday night. Led by Tray Samuel, the Chaffey (6-1, 2-0) defense forced two turnovers and converted them into scores at critical junctures in the game. last_img read more

Record high increase in numbers of pilgrims to Lough Derg

first_imgThe number of pilgrims to Lough Derg hit a record high this year as the pilgrimage season came to an end on Thursday.Yesterday morning, in bright autumnal sunshine, before they departed by boat, Fr La gave a final blessing to those pilgrims who had arrived on the station island on Tuesday.Afterwards, in a reflection on this year’s summer season, Fr La said that for a decade or more, the number of people making the three-day pilgrimage has been in decline, but that had changed this year. “This year we held firm with our numbers from last year and actually increased by a few score,” he said.For over a thousand years, pilgrims to Lough Derg have followed a series of patterns during their stay on the island, eating only one meal a day of black tea or coffee, dry toast and oatcakes. During the Middle Ages, mainly because of the difficulty in getting to Lough Derg from the continent, it was considered the toughest pilgrimage in Europe and the Christian world.In modern times, the three-day pilgrimage has only been available in the months of June, July and the first half of August.Fr La, who is prior of St Patrick’s Purgatory, said: “I am conscious that as the years move on, perhaps, Lough Derg is shedding something of the darker narrative that speaks of harshness and pain. “People are talking more about the blessing of this place and the help and the comfort and the compassion of God that it offers.”The season of one-day retreats starts tomorrow, Saturday, and runs until mid-September with retreats mainly taking place at weekends, though some are held during the week.Record high increase in numbers of pilgrims to Lough Derg was last modified: August 16th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more