Nearly 25,000 school-leavers failed the test for admission to the University of Liberia, one of two state-run universities. The students lacked enthusiasm and did not have a basic grasp of English, a university official told the BBC. They didn't know anything about the mechanics of the English language. Reports stated that many schools lack basic education material and teachers are poorly qualified.
However, this is the first time that every single student who wrote the exam for a fee of $25 (£16) has failed. The Liberian university stood by its decision. They maintain that the war ended 10 years ago and they must move forward.
Liberia is Africa's oldest republic, but it became better known in the 1990s for its long-running, ruinous civil war and its role in a rebellion in neighboring Sierra Leone. Around 250,000 people were killed and many thousands more fled the fighting. The conflict left the country in economic ruin and overrun with weapons. The capital remains without mains electricity and running water. Corruption is rife and unemployment and illiteracy are endemic. 15,000 UN soldiers in remain Liberia, making it one of the organization's most expensive peacekeeping operations.
It's perfectly understandable for potential students to lack hope for the future and the drive to succeed. What we really need to consider is how long it takes a country to recover from a ruinous war. I pity other nations involved in conflict at the moment. The Syrians fleeing their country are descended from one of the most ancient civilizations. What will they lose?