Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, Romelle A. Horton has disclosed that they will launch full investigation into the scandal involving the West African Examination (WAEC).Deputy Minister Horton embarrassed by the situation for its negative implications on Liberia said, “We have launched a full scale investigation into the matter and the public must be assured that anyone or perpetrators found culpable of the crime will be required to face the law.”She added that cancellation of the exam was intended to regain confidence and to help strengthen the educational system or the country by ensuring transparency and accountability.Minister Horton said the Ministry of Education (MOE), in collaboration with WAEC, has put into place the necessary measures to ensure that the theft is not repeated.In the wake of cancellation of the exam, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Monrovia office boss, John Gayvolor, says they need the amount of US$300,000 to reprint of the exam for the entire country.He made the disclosure while addressing the regular press briefing at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) in Monrovia on recently.Gayvolor said the finance will also cover the delivery of the exam materials across the country; revealing that prior to the incident, they had earlier secured 210 testing centers and hired the services of more than 1,564 porters for the smooth conduct of the exam. “We have earmarked June 27 to July 2 for the conduct of the exam; therefore, the resource is urgently needed to help fast track the exam reprint exercise.“We could not administer an exam that was stolen. Some unscrupulous individuals want to ensure that the WAEC exam loses credibility, but we are committed to ensuring that students are better prepared for future challenges,” he said. Gayvolor said that despite the exam papers being guarded by state security, including WAEC security officers, test papers on each of the nine subjects were stolen.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – More Americans than ever are wearing their photographs. Or eating them. Or showcasing them on calendars, greeting cards and china plates. In the versatile digital age, picture-bearing merchandise is a booming segment of the photo-printing market – and a lucrative one, too. Now the mostly online arena appears poised to gravitate big-time to the corner pharmacy. Scores of online players – led by Shutterfly Inc., Eastman Kodak Co.’s KodakGallery.com and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Snapfish.com – tout a variety of photo novelties, from laser-etched crystal ornaments to personalized postcards, key rings, T-shirts, purses, mugs, mousepads, birthday cakes and lollipops. Kodak and Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp., which divided up the traditional film market, are unveiling new technologies and partnerships designed to counter eroding profits from film processing by reeling in custom-photo customers via retail channels. But the blossoming of often-pricey alternatives, from photo apparel to putting computer reproductions of images onto posters, Jacuzzi tiles, furniture and tombstones, drove an 11 percent jump in overall revenues from $9.9 billion in 2005 to $11.1 billion in 2006, Delis said. The latest number includes $6.7 billion in sales of digital cameras, which analysts say have landed in almost 60 percent of America’s 110 million households. Prices run from $13.99 for a photo mug to $49.99 for a sterling necklace containing a picture of a loved one. Prices are $39.99 for a 20-picture photo book and $34.99 for a teddy bear wearing a custom-photo sweat shirt. Redwood City-based Shutterfly, which generated $40 million in fourth-quarter sales of personalized products such as photo-adorned necklaces and handbags, is the biggest online player, with a 25 percent share, said analyst Chris Chute of IDC Corp. Its most popular holiday item was a photo-collage card that can carry up to nine pictures. “We sold tens and tens of millions of them,” said Chief Executive Jeffrey Housenbold, boasting gross profit margins of more than 50 percent. “We give away most of our services, and we make money when people print. There’s a big trend that people don’t want to just have the same generic jewelry or the same generic card. “There’s just inherent limitation as to what you can do in retail,” Housenbold added. “You don’t have the creative choices, the high-quality user experience. And you don’t have the time or the convenience when you’re in retail.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! U.S. sales in the specialty market – counting online and retail – jumped 50 percent to an estimated $694 million in 2006 from $461 million in 2005 and could reach $951 million this year and $1.2 billion in 2008, according to Photo Marketing Association International, a trade group whose annual convention opens Thursday in Las Vegas. “The photo industry is desperately looking for ways to replace the money lost to lower volumes and lower prices for basic 4-by-6-inch prints,” said Alan Bullock, a consumer-imaging analyst at InfoTrends Inc. “There’s a whole slew of products out there generating higher margins than 4-by-6 prints ever did. When people see one for the first time, they go, `Wow, that’s really cool!”‘ The swift transition to a world without film triggered a slide in the overall number of snapshots converted into prints. Digital and film images made at home or ordered from retailers and Web sites fell from a peak of 30.3 billion in 2000 to 26.6 billion in 2006 and could bottom out at around 22.5 billion by 2009, predicted Dimitrios Delis, research director at the Jackson, Mich.-based Photo Marketing Association.