11 September 2017

Cameroon: The Treasure in Children


The new school year in on and has gone for five days. The roads leading to many schools are increasingly becoming busy with pupils and students. In the urban areas such as Yaounde and Douala, the traffic go-slow has resumed full swing. This, of course, is normal is a veritable translation of the determination with which children and school authorities are ready to take up the education challenge. The situation, however, is a bit different in the North West and South West Regions where school resumption is lazily taking off.

The effervescence that has often characterised school reopening in these two regions is yet to be observed. Scepticism is still very much in the atmosphere. Report however indicates inter alia a progressive growth in the number of kids regaining their classes. The urge to go back to school is very evident in children many who are still to understand why schools were suspended. This exhibition of innocence by our children is surely sending shock waves of guilt in adults; initiators of the strike action. The common denominator about proponents of the strike (teachers' association) and opponents of the strike (the administration) is the recognition that education and above all good quality education is good for the child. As the saying goes, the best thing a parent can give a child is education. Children themselves know that and some have been asking for it with increasing insistence. Cases abound where kids who are still to attain school age openly display their love for school with some even crying behind their elder brothers or sisters to go with them. Children do not like to be deprived of what they cherish. If education is what they like, we the parents are obliged to give them. In effect, the importance of child education cannot be over - emphasized since every society recognizes the wellbeing of children as a catalyst not only for the continuity of the human race but also for any meaningful social and economic development and progress. And as society is continuous, any mistake of mishandling the education of a generation incidentally leads to future disruption in its functioning.

This explains why care must be taken to allow this to happen. As the child's future depends so much on how he or she prepares his present, it becomes necessary to ensure that the present is well nurtured. This is the challenge facing Cameroon since the last academic year when pupils and students of the country's North West and South West Regions remained indoors. As if to say the scars inflicted on the education system by the consequences of the one-year absence is not enough, school resumption this year in the two regions continues to pick up so lackadaisically. Fear is being blamed for this state of affairs. While the fear continues to thread through families, it is important to ask questions which of course, are driven by the concern of the parents on the future of their children. This is important because there comes a time when these children will question why it all happened. The argument being put forward by proponents is that one cannot obtain omelet without breaking the egg. The question is how good or bad is the egg that is being broken. In any case, before one breaks an egg, one must be sure that the omelet that will be made out of it is one that is consumable. That notwithstanding, what seems to be true with the Cameroon situation is that the education of the children is being used more for political gains and this is why people including the administration continues to raised lots of eyebrows. Children have a treasure which must serve as driving force to the decisions we take.


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