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

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

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