Baptist Prelate Warns Against Grades Buying

By Victor C. Hanson, Jr.

A Baptist Prelate, Rev. Dr. Olu Menjay, has warned against buying and selling grades in school.

Rev. Dr. Menjay, President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary Educational Convention School said administrators must assist in the eradication of corrupt practices in the educational sector by taking action against instructors and students involved in such criminal practices that have the propensity to destroy the educational system.

Speaking at the Twenty-fifth Commencement Convocation of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) held in Vincent Town, Bomi County, the Baptist clergyman called for an urgent and emergency position for educational reform in the country nothing that such emergency demands an immediate action, and requires a radical action.

Rev. Dr. Menjay said if nothing is done quickly, the future of the existence of Liberia as a country will be miserable adding that his speech is not to scare anyone but to be reminded that there are some difficult days ahead, therefore, Government must ensure that the educational system be adequately addressed expeditiously.

He stated that the educational crisis in the country is indeed becoming a serious for the entire economy and is endangering the country’s ability for a brighter future. He added that there has to be critical and willingness of Liberians to execute stringent measures against such instructors who receive money from students; likewise, students who buy grades be severely dealt with too.

The preacher pointed out that to improve or transform the educational sector of the country, imperfection should be recognized highly, and Liberians should acknowledge their deficiencies.

Rev. Dr. Menjay said as a school administrator in Liberia it pains his heart to hear that over 95% of passes made in the West African Examination tests for high school are very weak passes. “It is worrisome to know that only one student passed with high mark in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Exam (WASSCE); it shows that there are no adequate text books for students,” Rev. Manjay said.

He furthered said that it is critical to know that there is no way without quality, and there is no future without quality and relevant education for citizens, and in the midst of the deplorable educational complexion much emphasis has been placed in the establishment of  community colleges around the counties.

Rev. Dr. Menjay added that the country cannot be built by creating community colleges, and build up incompetence, or of weak setting from the top that is strengthening only higher education; Liberians need to widen their definition of education to see it as process that starts from kindergarten.

He narrated that if the foundations of the youths are solid, then the country can move forward to higher height saying that the essential backing of education is to prepare today’s people for the future, and the only way is to allow competition to strive among students in school.

He stressed that the buying and selling of grades should be put to an immediate end to assist in eradicating the corrupt practices in schools.

He then concluded that educational standard should not be compromised for anything else calling on Liberians to strive for excellence. He said the fundamental problem is that too many people want to bypass a small assignment, and be attracted right to the big job for their benefits.

The A.M.E Zion University College was incepted in 1983 with the founding of the A.M.E Zion School of Business attached to the A.M.E. Zion Academy, and in 1987, the A.M.E. Zion Community College was established, offering    Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and law enforcement, Liberal arts, Business as well as Diploma in Trauma Counseling, and held its First Annual Convocation May 22, 1989.

The University which is operated by the A.M.E. Zion Church, presently has six (6) Colleges, namely Wilfed E Clark College of Criminal Justice Administration, Andrew Cartwright College of Business and Public Administration, the Reuben L. Speaks College of Liberal Arts, Bishop Warren Brown College of Divinity and Alicia Smith-Lartey, College of Education, and College of General Studies awarding Degree in Accounting Education.

Yesterday the AMEZU graduated 888 students in various disciplines.