News / Africa

Admission Standards Toughened at University of Liberia

Map of Liberia, AfricaMap of Liberia, Africa
x
Map of Liberia, Africa
Map of Liberia, Africa
James Butty
A private consultant said the days are over when students were admitted into the University of Liberia through bribery or based on how many important people they known.

James Dorbor Jallah was hired by the university to manage and administer this year’s entrance examination.

Nearly 25,000 high school graduates who took the exam failed.

Minister of Education Etmonia David-Tarpeh reportedly said she would discuss the issue with university officials. However, she expressed doubt that all 25,000 students failed the admission exam.

Dorbor-Jallah said students seeking admission into the university would study harder if they are made to understand that admission is based on personal ability and not through bribery.

He said he was hired because the university has had problems in the past about the credibility and integrity of its admission exam.

“There is a perception in our society largely that once you take the University of Liberia admission exam, if you do not pay money to someone, or if you do not have appropriate connections, you would not be placed on the results list. So, the University has been grappling with how they could manage the process whereby people’s abilities would be truly measured on the basis of their performance on the examination,” he said.

Dorbor-Jallah made it clear he was not speaking as spokesman of the University of Liberia but rather as a private citizen who was contacted by university president, Dr. Emmet Dennis to help restore public confidence in the university’s admission process.

He said the 2013 admission exam was no different from previous exams that had been administered by the university in terms of subject matter content.

Dorbor-Jallah said the exam tested high school graduates based on the curriculum of the Ministry of Education.

But he said unlike previous exams, the faculty senate of the university decided that this time around, results would be reported on the basis of raw scores.

“To gain a pass and admission, one would have to make or earn 60 percent in mathematics and 70 percent in English of their raw scores, not curved or scaled results. So on the basis of that, we administered the exam. We went through the tabulation of the results, and it turned out that 308 of the more than 23,000 candidates actually did meet the threshold score in mathematics of 50 percent or above. But absolutely no one was able to reach the threshold score in English of 70 percent. That is why the university has reported that no one passed its admission exam,” he said.

Minister of Education Etmonia David-Tarpeh reportedly said she would discuss the issue with university officials. But she expressed doubts that all 25,000 students failed the admission exam.

Dorbor-Jallah said he made a commitment to the university that he and his team would document the process in such a way that the results can be replicated by anyone.

“If the minister is interested, or if any practitioner in the educational sector is interested, I’m sure the university will be willing to go through the process,” Dorbor-Jallah said.

He said he and his team tried to lay the foundation for the University of Liberia to see how an examination can be conducted and how the integrity can be preserved.

“We hope that the university will continue on this path so that there can be a restoration of public confidence in the process and people can begin to know that whoever merits admission into the university is the one who gets admitted and not for any other external factors,” he said.
Butty interview with Jallah
Butty interview with Jallahi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

Dorbor-Jallah said there is also a message that Liberia as a nation can draw from the mass failures of this year’s university admission exam.

“For the country as a whole, I think this is a clarion call that we need to all see that the king is moving around naked and not pretend as though the emperor has his finest clothes on,” he said.

He said Liberia as a nation must begin the process of soul-searching by carefully analyzing the root causes of the mass failures because the future of a nation depends on the education of its youth.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehnmon from: Sanniquellie
September 07, 2013 8:56 AM
Since the war our education system is not up to standard. The main reason is our own system. All the schools are operating on their own, not following standardized curriculum. The transfer of students from one school to another is not regulated. Students failed in class instead of repeating the class s/he jumps to the next class aided by parents and teachers. The MOE allowing anyone to open school irrespective of trained teachers, instructional material and environment. There is very poor discipline in our schools. Students are not obeying school authorities. There are limited trained teachers. How will you teach what you don't know? No supervisors for the school system who will check on what teachers teach, or how they manage the class room. DEOs are not supervisors but administrator.
With all these challenges there is hope. We can learn from the health system, they have several supervisors helping clinicians to improve the quality of their work. Don't get me wrong, not all in health is perfect.
The MOE need to employ supervisor or monitor, set objectives with clear indicators to monitor the school system
We need to just cross to Ivory Coast and do a study on what makes their system better than us.
On the UL entrance exam it is regrettable but I am of the opinion that they wanted to alert the public on the low quality of our school system. However, I am of the opinion that placement exams should not have a specific mark passage. Why? The pass mark should be determined between the lowest and the highest scores because at all cost you need to admit new students. What happens if the students have scored lowest of 85% & highest of 98% will you admit all? No. In such scenario maybe 95% up passed based on the number. Similarly if the lowest 30% & highest is 45 you will surely determine who made it depending on the scale used.

by: John A. Kokulo from: Monrovia
August 29, 2013 5:30 PM
The administered UL examination result reflects a national academic result for the major administrative and implementing parties of the educational system of Liberia: 'All Failed'!
There must be harmonization in the implementation process of our national educational/academic goals and objectives by the various parties at all times.

by: DavidSG from: AU
August 27, 2013 7:59 PM
From the BBC report:

University spokesman Momodu Getaweh told Focus on Africa that the university stood by its decision, and it would not be swayed by "emotion".

"In English, the mechanics of the language, they didn't know anything about it. So the government has to do something," he said.

"The war has ended 10 years ago now. We have to put that behind us and become realistic."

Maybe Mr Getaweh needs to brush up his English as well!

by: FRANCIS EGU LANSANA from: VAHUN,LOFA
August 27, 2013 7:46 AM
Liberia again! This is an Accountability Problem. Almost 25000 high school leavers failed University of Liberia admission exam, said UL administration.
Who do you think is responsible for this?
1. University of Liberia administration
2.Ministry of Education
3.The students themselves
4.High schools across the country administrators
5.Parents
6. Other relevant educational stakeholders
7.Human right/child right advocates
It is serious, it has to do with the future of Liberia, let us discuss it to find the way forward in order to avoid the reocurrence. Remember the president of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said "The education system of this country (Liberia) is a mess". Let us be civil and discuss this so that we can have our academic status maintain and respected in the global community. God Bless Liberia, God bless the world.

by: Jamie from: Banjor
August 27, 2013 7:02 AM
Liberia needs strong professors to liberate its education system to avoid polluted fruits who will lead to mistakes as 1 professor quoted that " Mistakes of Doctors end up in grave, Mistakes of Teacher end up on street and Mistakes of Lawyers end up in jail" so please oh hail Liberia coz education is the way to success.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More