WAEC to Ban Calculators and Watches at Next Year’s Junior and Senior High Exams

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberia office of the West African Examinations Council has announced it will introduce a customized mathematical set for its junior and senior high school exams beginning next year.

Liberia’s WAEC office disclosed in a press release that with the introduction of the tool, Liberian candidates taking the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and the Liberia Junior High School Certificate Examinations will be barred from carrying personal materials such as calculators and watches into exams.

“The set contains all of what the candidates will need to sit the exams, including a calculator with an installed timepiece,” WAEC said.

The testing body said the decision was reached during the 126th meeting of the Liberia Administrative and Finance Committee in Monrovia. The committee is the highest decision making body on administrative and financial matters of WAEC. It comprises key national stakeholders, including the Ministries of Education, Finance, and Foreign Affairs. Other members of the committee are the Association of Universities, the Civil Service Agency, the General Services Agency, the National Teachers Association, and the National Principal Association.

The introduction of the set is expected to help curtail examination malpractices and other misconduct during the exams. Candidates will be required to pay US$7 for the sets through their schools and will own each set at the end of the exam.

In addition to announcing the mathematical sets, WAEC also announced an increase in the fees for the primary and junior high exams. Fees for primary school exams will increase from L$1,000 (US$5) to L$2,000 (US$10), while candidates for the junior high exams will see their exam fees increase from L$2,350 (US$11.75) to L$3,500 (US$17.50).

WAEC conducts standardized examinations for English-speaking West African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia.

Featured photo by Blair Wang

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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