• WAEC-Liberia Boss discloses

By: Leila Baryonnoh Gbati

The Head of the West Africa Examination Council of Liberia (WAEC), Mr. Dale Gbotoe, has disclosed that the performance of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has fluctuated for the past five years (2018–2022).

Speaking on the performance trend of WASSCE at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing on Thursday, January 12, 2023, Mr. Gbotoe said that for 5 years (2018–2022), the performance trend of WASSCE has fluctuated, with the 2018 exam recording the lowest performance level.

According to Mr. Gbotoe, at the level of WAEC, they have administered exams in the last 5 years to 12th graders, 9th graders, 6th graders, and 3rd graders for the last two years.

Giving the aggregated data of candidates’ performance in WASSCE for the last five years, he indicated that in 2018, 38.86% of the candidates were successful, and the next year, they saw 78.9%, which later went up to 81.2% in 2020 and dropped to 68.73% in 2021.

He added that they do not have sufficient evidence to conclude why the performance dropped after they saw an upward trend from 2018–2020 and 2021, when it dropped to 68%. He suggested that maybe the Corona Virus might be a contributing factor.

“In 2022 we see that the performance went up, and for the first time we collected the highest number of pass rates in Liberia since we started conducting exams, so if you look at it from the overall perspective, you will see that from 2018-2020 we saw an upward trend, and we taught that we were doing well at the level of the 12th grade, and then in 2021 it dropped, and in 2022 it went upward,” he said.

Speaking further, the WAEC boss mentioned that they administered the exam only in four subjects, emphasizing that for the past 5 years again they saw that the trend for English language and mathematics fluctuated, with the trend of the 2019 exam recording the least performance when it comes to English language.

He also noted that for the 2022 exam, they got the highest percent (81.25%) of the candidates who sat for WASSCE to pass the exam at the level of English.

“When it comes to mathematics, we observed an upward trend in the performance of the candidates at the level of mathematics, with the first-year 2018 exam recording the least performance.” In 2018 we had only 8% of the candidates who sat the exam in Liberia pass in Mathematics it went to 50% in 2019 and in 2020 it went to 53% and 2021 it jumped to 70% of the candidates being successful in Mathematics and in 2022 last year we recorded the highest pass rate in mathematics in Liberia for the past 5 years at 77%.

Meanwhile, he stated that for the other general or acts subjects again for the past 5 years they saw similar pattern.

He said for economics the performance fluctuated, adding that “in fact, when you look at the four subjects that fall within this category, economics, geography, literature, and history, three of those subjects show a fluctuating trend; usually it starts on a good note, we see an upward trend, later it drops for two years and goes back up, but literature shows an upward trend, and history becomes different when it comes to literature.” The first year, in 2018, we had only 1% of the students who took the exam passing literature, and in 2019, it went up to 1.6%, and in 2022, we had 36% of the candidates pass literature.

“Where we are having serious issues has to do with the sciences; our students are still struggling with the sciences, and one contributing factor could be that in our schools we only teach the territory aspect, but what we observed over the period is that two of those subjects also show a fluctuating trend, and physics shows an upward trend,” he said.

Mr. Gbotoe maintained that of the 5 years they are considering, they saw that 2018 was the worst of the 5 years, with only 8% of the candidates being able to pass successfully in biology, and in chemistry, less than 1% pass the exam, similar to physics. He emphasized that when you look at what has happened over the 5 years, the performance level of biology started increasing and went up in 2019 and dropped in 2020, and later went up in 2021, and surprisingly, in 2022, it went as far as 75% of the candidates being successful, but when it comes to chemistry, the students are still struggling. The highest percentage to pass in

“In physics, the candidates are still struggling, and it is the least studied subject among these three that shows an upward trend; we went from 0.7% in 2018 to 2% in 2019, 14% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 37% in 2022. “We are still finding it difficult to have 50% of our students pass the science subject,” he said.

Leave a Comment


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *