Gov’t Has Still Not Completed Paying WASSCE Fees

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Two weeks after the end of the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations for 12th graders across the country, the government has not yet completed paying the exams council for the cost of the exams.

President George Weah announced that his government would pay the fees for all 12th graders across the country, the first time the government was doing so for a senior exam administered by the West African Examinations Council.

“I made a promise that my government will absorb the WAEC fees for all 12th graders and I remain committed to that promise,” Weah said in his first state of the nation address on Monday.

Weah said his government had already started to disburse some of the US$2.1 million fees to WAEC’s Liberia office.

A subsequent press release from the Ministry of Education promised that WAEC would refund schools that had already paid for their students “once the Government of Liberia fulfills its remaining financial obligation to WAEC.”

However, now that the exams are over, the government has not completely met its obligations and some families that had paid the official fee of US$60 before the president announced the waiver are growing impatient.

Dale G. Gbotoe, head of WAEC, recently spoke on ELBC Radio where he confirmed that the government had not fully paid the WASSCE fees yet.

He said WAEC had received a significant portion of the money from government, but he did not disclose the precise amount.

“As soon as WAEC receives the balance of the money from the government, a public announcement will be made,” he said.

Gbotoe said the council will only reimburse its official fee of US$60, alluding to reports that some schools were overcharging candidates.

“If a student paid US$70 and only US$60 was deposited on the student’s behalf, the balance will have to be accounted for by the school administrator,” he said.

“WAEC has not refunded any school,” he clarified, as he asked that parents of candidates should exercise patience.

Featured photo by Bruce Strong/Together Liberia

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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