14 years of war has taken a toll on Liberia’s education system. 25,000 students failed the entrance test of University of Liberia, country’s oldest and biggest university. Unlike other African countries Liberia has a literacy rate of 60.8 %( 64.8% for males and 56.8% for females). Education is compulsory and free for students aged 6 to 16.
The university officials evaluated that the students lacked enthusiasm and they did not have basic grasp of English. This has been largely contributed to 14 years of civil war which has resulted in weak infrastructure. Most schools lack basic educational facilities. Liberia’s weak economy means that they have failed to cater to the increasing educational budget. Liberian government has failed to hire qualified teacher who demand higher salaries hence the teachers hired in public school fail to impart knowledge among their students. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is a noble peace laureate conceded that years of civil war and poor economy has had an impact on education and the sector is in mess. Liberia’s education minister, Etmonia David-Tarpeh expressed shock over the results and believed that there must have been a lapse by the university. She vowed to take up the issue with the university officials.
University spokesperson Momudu Getaweh said that the university stands by the decision and they won’t be swayed by the emotions. Students have suffered a serious blow and many of them felt that they were hard done by the university administration and demanded a refund of the test fee which was $25.
According to our sources, University of Liberia’s President Dr. Emmet Dennis has hired a consultant to oversee the admission procedure. This step was taken to eliminate the notorious reputation the university had developed. The consultant James Dorbor Jallah said that the test was similar in terms of content however this time around he installed a transparent admission system as the university was known to give out admissions in exchange of bribe and the students admitted were below par. This step was taken in order to restore the integrity and reputation of the university.
If our sources are to be believed, then this is a step in the right direction by the University of Liberia.