View of the campus of Government-Run Special Project School ( Photo by TSM)

By Melvin Jackson [email protected]

Money has reportedly changed hands to rescue the results of two subjects from the heads of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).

Results were announced recently, but some schools whose students were engaged in academic cheating results were seized by WAEC, Liberia’s examinations body that sets the standards for who is a high school graduate.

Among those schools was Special Project School, an institution that the Liberian government operates.

Two of their subjects (Chemistry and Geography) results in the West African Examination have been embargoed placed on them by the WAEC administration.

When the students of that institution saw that the likelihood of them walking out of High school was moving as slow as a snail’s movement, they saw the need to engage the school administration and the District Education Officer to find an amicable solution to their problem. However, answers were still far away when the TSM reporter was informed of the situation.

Accordingly, the students paid the sum of LD$300,000 for their class project, among which “flexibility fees” were a part.

Unfortunately, the class sponsor, Saah Jomah Kromah, absconded with the money leaving the students in a dilemma.

TSM then contacted Montserrado county educational district no.12 Official Martha Yekeku who has kept tight-lipped to speak to the press on the alleged misappropriation of the money intended for the graduating students’ class projects.

Madam Yekeku told TSM that she is unaware of the news of the misappropriation of the money at one of the institutions under their supervision as District Education Officer (DEO ), adding that she cannot speak for the Special Project school administration.

Although she denied knowing anything about the money, DEO Yekeku is heard in leaked audio compromising the matter with the graduating class leadership for what she termed as the ‘sake of peace and mutual respect for the institution.’

“It is not good to overlook people; that very Kromah when he sees some of you tomorrow he will be ashamed to come around because of the kind of activities he is involved with,” Madam Yekeku told the class in the leaked recording.

She went further, “I was telling Kromah, you see how you disgrace yourself in front of these children; I say you don’t see them like that; they are in a government school now, but no condition is permanent; God will take them to places, and you will see them tomorrow, and you will get surprised and shame, so do all you can to win those children back.

Madam Yekeku further told the students that she had informed Saah Jomah Kromah that he should do all in his power to ensure that the student’s results in the two subjects embargoed by the WAEC authorities are released to the school.

Although she was pleading with the students to be patient and let Kromah, the class sponsor, and the school administration work behind the scene to get their results out, she was equally mad with the students for informing journalists about the situation.

Our sources said suspect Kromah is making efforts to have the money paid.

He has made an initial payment of Eighty-five thousand Liberian dollars (L$85,000) towards the over LD$300,000 unaccounted.

The stage media investigation has also established that the school administration and the DEO have deducted 55 thousand of the money to bribe WAEC Liberia for the settlement of the student’s two subjects’ results that are yet to be announced due to collusion.

There are laws in the book that provide criminal penalties for bribery in Liberia.

As it stands, the purpose for those struggling students paid said the money had not been achieved. On the other hand, the administration of the school and the District Education Office are bribing the West African Examination Council officials to ensure that the two subjects’ results of the government-run Special Project are released.

Reopening schools across Liberia is in progress, while schools where students successfully pass this year’s examinations are holding their graduation exercises this September.

But the Special Project school is hanging in the balance as they are expected to graduate in October or anytime before November based on whether the results that will legitimize their graduation will be released.

Following the pronouncement by the school administration that graduation is expected in November, our sources said several students have declined to partake in the program if a proper redress is not given about the money.

Not only government-run Special Project School is facing this problem, but other high schools are equally involved with the situation. For this reason, WAEC could not release results in several different subjects.

West Africa Examination Council boss Dale Gbote in an interview with TSM Tuesday, September 20, 2022, confirmed the embargo placed on results of two subjects ( Geography and Chemistry) of Special Project School High School in the just-released results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination(WASSCE).

When he was asked about receiving money from the Government-run Special Project School,  Gbotoe denied ever receiving money from the institution. Needless to say, he did not talk about other schools in Liberia whose students’ results were seized.

He termed the allegations of money for results released as false.

The WAEC boss said, “The West Africa Examination Council has never collected any money from any school or any other candidates, other than money that was collected for registration purposes.”

He continued, “Someone is collecting money just to enrich themselves.”

He maintained that no school paid a cent to the institution for releasing their student’s results that are withheld due to what the institution considers collusion.

“We are not charging people for collusion; what we do is that whenever the issue of such arise [collusion] during the marking of the exams, we invite the school administration for proper display of the issues,” the WAEC boss added.

He furthered that any school that will collect money from their students under false pretend of ensuring that their students’ collusion saga will be addressed is doing such at their liability as WAEC is not in the business of collecting money to release results.

“We are an integrity institution, and we stand for the core value of the entity we solely represent, so let no school collect money from those already struggling students,” Gbotoe said.

“These results will not be released; these results will be canceled because we have rules on the book,” he added.

The West Africa Examination Council boss, Gbotoe, furthered that the total of 277 school results was being withheld due to conspiracy from their students as identified by the examiners.

Aside from the school collusion saga, the WAEC boss said that they have started receiving information that some schools are in the business of collecting three thousand (3,000.00) Liberian dollars for third grader WAEC registration instead of One thousand (1,000.00).

The class sponsor claims that he had settled the student’s 300 thousand since the initial payment of Eighty-five (85,000.00) thousand Liberian dollars was made when the students first pressured him.

Although he claims he has paid 100 percent of the 300,000.00, according to our investigation, he has no documents to prove his settlement claims.


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