Liberia: More Than 24,000 Failed University Entrance Exams

The administration of the University of Liberia has disclosed that no student passed in the entrance and placement examinations.

Recently, the University of Liberia administered entrance exams to more than 24,000 students.

At a press conference Wednesday, the head of UL Relations Dr. S. Momolu Getaweh said no student earned the scores of 50 percent in Math and 70 percent in English as previously set by the university as passing scores for the undergraduate examinations.

Similarly, the administration of the University of Liberia also said no candidate who sat for the graduate programs for the Law School and School of Pharmacy exams scored 70 percent.

The UL administration said holding these results constant, no candidate would have otherwise been admitted to the university for academic 2013/14 in the above programs.

However, the UL said in the case of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine where the score of 70 percent is required as passing grade, 47 candidates made 70 percent and above.

Considering the massive failures, the UL administration said two separate meetings were held to find a way out.

Dr. Getaweh said as a result of the meetings, the UL Senate reviewed several other scenarios below the benchmarks and recommended for the admission of 1,626 candidates who scored either at least 40 percent in Math and 50 percent in English in the undergraduate program.

He disclosed that 25 candidates for the College of General Studies (Continuing Education), 93 candidates in the six graduate programs, 37 for the Law School and 24 for the School of Pharmacy were recommended for admission which has been endorsed by the Faculty Senate.

However, the UL administration said candidates in the undergraduate division would be required to take two transitional courses – one in Mathematics (100) and the other in English (100).

Both courses, the UL said, would be administered for six hours a week without academic credit.

“Candidates admitted in this category will also be permitted to take an additional three credit hour course which shall be determined by their respective colleges,” a UL statement read by Getaweh said.

However, it said total hours of academic work for the first semester of 2013/14 shall not exceed nine hours a week, adding “the students must pass the transitional courses within two semesters, if they wish to continue at the university.”

The statement said upon admission to the university, the rules governing poor academic performance shall apply, noting that these rules shall be provided to the candidates during the matriculation exercises following registration for first semester 2013/14.

The UL said final decision for admission to the Graduate Programs including the Law School, School of Pharmacy and Medical School shall be made following the fulfillment of other criteria set out by the Admission Committees of the respective programs and colleges as indicated.

The UL administration disclosed that the names of the candidates in all programs would shortly be published.

Dr. Getaweh said the results of the entrance clearly indicate that Liberia’s educational system still has a problem.