Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: Gov't Promotes Public-Private Partnership for Secondary Education

The National Commission for Private Education held its 31st session on Friday September 14 in Yaounde.

Different organisations involved in offering private education have been praised by the Minister of Secondary Education, Louis Bapes Bapes, for sacrifices and efforts furnished to accompany the State in the training of Cameroonian youth. While opening the 31st session of the National Commission for Private Education on Friday September 14th in Yaounde, Minister Bapes Bapes said secondary education in the country is geared toward excellence in programmes, teaching methods, administrative and pedagogic supervision, teaching staff and students in a bid to jerk the country towards emergence.

In professionalising teaching and enabling students to fit easily into the job market and society, Bapes Bapes saw private education as an unavoidable partner. He stated government's will to base its partnership with the private sector on contracting; a commitment which, according to Minister, will enable the State share its financial, material and human resources with regards to contracting or non-contracting schools.

The 31st session that held on the theme "State-Private Education Partnership: the Contract Process" aimed at identifying challenges for the implementation of contracting, stages for contracting and strategies to meet challenges. They were also incited to propose solutions to the numerous ills that handicap the smooth functioning of private education. Some of the ills mentioned were clandestine schools, teachers with little or no training as well as dishonest school officials who embezzle examination fees.

Representatives of Protestant, Catholic and Lay Private education lauded the initiative but stressed their concern on the decreasing rate of State subventions and the urgent need for the State to take care of teachers' salaries. Reports indicated that during the 2011-2012 academic year, Catholic Education trained 84,544 students in 165 schools using 5,499 teachers.

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