16 April 2018

Cameroon: Quest for Greater Performance

Education stakeholders are looking forward to the National Education Forum that will hopefully transform Cameroon's education sector.

The Inter-ministerial Committee in Charge of Examining and Proposing Solutions to the Preoccupations Raised by Teachers' Trade Unions, has already validated the documents in view of holding the National Education Forum in Cameroon in the days ahead.

The committee chaired by the Minister of Higher Education, Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo held its eighth session in Yaounde on April 13, 2018 that brought together representatives of key ministries and those of teachers' trade unions of all the sectors of education. Preparations for the forum are heightening within the context of the strong government determination to prepare Cameroonian youths for employment and job creation through vocational and technical training.

President Paul Biya during his address on the eve of the 2018 National Youth Day on February 10, 2018 said, « Great strides have been or are being made in terms of infrastructure, schools, facilities and educational opportunities. » On what the education sector alone costs the State, he said, « Regarding the budget, the combined allocations of the three ministries responsible for education represent about 15 per cent of public spending. »

Now, each of the 10 regions has a public higher education institution and from this 2018 focus is also on connecting Cameroon's universities, to global cyberspace. Education stakeholders have to use preparations for the forum to consolidate peace, as the chairperson of the Inter-ministerial committee has been stressing on government's determination to partner with them on the basis of trust and a sense of responsibility. The Committee was created in late 2016 at the peak of crisis rocking the country's education sector.

Trade Union leaders of the English subsystem of education had just called a strike action that paralysed studies and those of the French subsystem were also threatening to go on strike. The situation is now pretty different as schools have resumed in almost all of the worse affected North West and South West Regions.

Government has granted many of the demands of the teachers' trade unions and even created the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism to cater for the hitherto teething problems of the use of English and French as the country's official languages with equal status.

In the English-speaking North West and South West Regions, the education problems faced in some localities are those of attacks, threats and abductions by secessionist terrorists and no longer teachers refusing to teach or parents refusing to send their children to school. The National Education Forum will provide each stakeholder at all levels to contribute to the greater performing education sector in Cameroon.


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