17 March 2017

Cameroon: Technical Education - Hurdles Persist

Lack of facilities like laboratories is a cause for reflection.

If need for vocational and technical training has never been felt it has now become the single most crucial element that can push forward the nation into emergence. Currently, talks in the country centre on how best to harmonise the educational system, foster the effective practice of a bilingual culture in students, accomplish the on-going vast infrastructural projects, debate for more budgetary allocations to the four ministries charged with education, yet mention is not made on expanding, or even improving, technical and vocational education. No one can so soon forget that no economy develops or drives towards becoming emerging when industrialisation is left out. It begins with grooming a skilled workforce, and education is the best place to start with. The Cause of It All Far from being a problem of infrastructure, the single most challenging factor is that of the heart, not that it is a hard one. The dearth of addressing the state of technical education is a problem in the first place. As the nation drives towards becoming an emerging economy by 2035, expanding, improving and modernising technical education should animate a national forum for discussions. Knowing The Disciplines Whether the training is fashion design, metalwork, mechanical or automobile technology, electrical and electronic technology, building and woodwork technology, the sector has a common challenge. The Principal of the Government Technical College Nylon, Guillaume Doume, attributes the problem to not just substandard facilities but lack of facilities such as laboratories and, perhaps, a defective curricular. Others include lack of finances, inadequate training and staff movement and the need to reform the national education policy. Training Lapses Some of the teachers in technical institutions lack enough skills to handle the people they are in charge of. Others include poorly monitoring standards for the training of prospective technologists and an inadequate ICT environment, weak university-industry partnership, defective curricula, as well as traditional approach to teaching. The Blame It is not surprising that some parents consider technical education as a haven for the mentally inept. This notion has led to the low numbers of adequate skills on the employment market. In most cases parents, guardians or students are inadequately oriented, and lack information about job opportunities offered by these sectors. La parole aux acteurs

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