GANTA, Nimba – At two schools in Ganta, administrators have taken actions against dozens of senior students after poor academic performances in the first marking period test.
At the Barry A. Wallace Baptist High School, at least 11 students have seen their ties confiscated. A similar step was also taken at the Messiah Christian High School for over a dozen students, who were also threatened with demotion or expulsion if they failed to improve during the second marking period.
The ties, given to students once they enter their senior year to distinguish them from others, are a mark of pride.
According to the principal of the Wallace Baptist High School, Arthur Gboe Wehyee, the measure that was taken was necessary to prepare students for the future of Liberia.
“When the young people are not prepared, we will always have problems with this nation – and so, we think academically we should prepare them,” he said, adding that it would make them be more committed to their studies in the next academic period.
Wehyee said the exercise was normal in Liberia and should not be too much of a challenge for students faced with this situation.
“[Back in] our days, when we failed, we were brought before the class and the entire school, and our teachers will tell the others to boo at you,” he added. “When you leave from there, you will do well next time so you can’t be booed again.”
Wehyee’s school was one of the schools in Ganta that recently added a senior high level. The school put out its first batch of graduates in the last academic year. This is the first time it has had to confiscate the ties of seniors.
Steve Jalloh, a senior student at the school who did not see his tie taken away, said he has noticed differences among his fellow students who faced the disciplinary measure.
“Since the school took their ties from them, you can see them coming to school on time and paying attention to their lessons,” Jalloh said. “Like some of them who used to boycott classes during recess, they don’t run away again—and you can see them doing their assignments on time and taking it seriously now.”
Wehyee says parents of both students affected and unaffected have commended the school for instituting the disciplinary measure.
“I have been receiving calls from parents congratulating us for taken such a step,” he said. “Some family members from [United] States called me and told me thank you; that they got the information about what we did.”
Wehyee called for parents to better monitor their children’s daily activities in school by checking their notebooks, assignments, and quiz papers. He also challenged them to communicate with school administrators and teachers regularly.
“If parents of these children are doing this, they will be able to put some level of pressure on them to take their lessons seriously,” he added.
Students who lost their ties for the first marking period test and register no improvement during the second period are expected to be expelled from the school, according to the school’s academic handbook.