Primary and JHS students in Liberia may not be writing their exams anytime soon as the scheduled examination has been postponed indefinitely.
The West African Examination Council WAEC scheduled the exam for 19th to 23rd July but unfortunately, the vessel transporting the officials who will conduct the exam sank off the coast of Liberia.
Reports from both the WAEC Public Relations and the Liberian Maritime Authority confirm the vessel was headed to the South-East of Liberia to carry out the examination in four counties. But on Saturday at about 4:30 pm the LEGAL IVANKA as the vessel has been named sank off the Liberian coast while transporting exam materials, nine crew members and officials of WAEC.
Earlier Prince Langbein, speaking for WAEC said in a press briefing that only one out of the nine staff that had been aboard Legal Ivanka was rescued.
Commissioner-General of the Maritime Authority, Eugene Lenne Nagbe revealed that eighteen people were on board the vessel, nine crew members and nine passengers including a woman. He said 11 people have been rescued. But according to witnesses who were in the vessel, there were at least 28 people onboard at the time of the sinking.
WAEC has therefore postponed the exam to ensure questions do not leak to students and until the search for the missing staffers and materials are completed.
Mr Eugene said the vessel was at no period throughout its existence allowed, permitted or licenced to operate as a passenger carrier and further assured that the Maritime Authority and all relevant entities including the Minister of Justice will be commissioning an investigation into how this detained vessel managed to get on the sea.
Meanwhile the owner of the ship, a Chinese national has been arrested and detained since Sunday as rescue efforts continue to find the remaining victims.
By Jamila Abdul Wahab Follow on Twitter @activetvgh