11 September 2017

Cameroon: Dr. Andrew Tazi Mbencho - "Teachers Are Adjusting More Than Students"

interview

Principal, GBHS Kumba

How is your school going about with the remedial classes ordered by the Minister of Secondary Education to bring students to the level after missing two terms of studies last year?

To cover that period that was lost last academic year, we have to take classes from 7:30am to 3:30pm instead of 2:30pm. Then, we gain one more hour per day. On Saturday we take classes from 8:00am to 12 noon which means we have four periods. We do this per the Minister's instructions for September, October and November this year. We have calculated the number of periods that we are going to gain and we have discovered that they are so many and this exercise is to cover the period that was lost last year by our students. Are there any hitches conducting this type of courses? When there is a change, there is always some difficulties and I think that the difficulties are from the stand point of students principally because they are used to being in school from 7:30am to 2:30pm. I think this time, the additional hours is not very easy for them. Sometimes they are hungry because they are spending more time in school instead of running home to get something to eat. So from the stand point of students certainly there are difficulties. We advised them that all what we are doing is for their interest. Are the teachers collaborating? Yes, for our teachers, you know we use to close at 2:30pm but this time we close at 3:30pm and so it is not easy for them to spend this extra one hour. We are adjusting more than before. Even for the administrative staff that use to close at 2:30pm, for them now to spend one additional hour in school is not easy. We have been holding a series of meetings with them to strengthen their moral so they are adjusting. The teachers are adjusting even more than the students. Is the new system conflicting with the usual trend of teaching and learning? There is no doubt about that, but you know teaching is a process, learning is a process and so the process has been established and everyone is going through it tactfully and successfully and with courage. So I think nobody is facing any particular difficulty and everybody is taking it correctly. How long will the catch-up classes go? They will go up to November 11, 2017. I would continue to congratulate my administrative and teaching staff because all of us have put hands on deck. In our meetings we have resolved to obey the instructions of the Minister to the letter.

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