Cameroon: Governor Urges Proprietors to Reopen Schools

Bernard Okalia Bilai chaired a joint meeting with stakeholders of secondary and higher education yesterday.

In the face of the continuous ghost schools, Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai has urged the proprietors of confessional and lay private educational establishments to prepare letters calling on parents to bring their children to school latest Wednesday 8 February, 2017. The Governor said he will send officials to collect the letters today, 7th February so that they could be announced in the media for the school population to follow. The Governor made the plea in his office yesterday 6 February as he chaired a joint meeting with stakeholders of secondary and higher education. These included the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea, Prof. Nalova Lyonga, the President of the Catholic University Institute of Buea , Rev. Dr. Nkeze Jingwa and representatives of the Presbyterian, Baptist and Lay Private Institutions. The Governor's call came on the heels of the persistent ghost schools in the South West after visiting some four secondary schools in Buea and the Buea market. The Governor was irked that some schools were still dragging feet to resume classes despite the declaration from all Anglophone Teachers Trade Unions dated 4 February, 2017 lifting the Ghost School strike action. The meeting precised and circulated copies of the declaration from Anglophone Trade Unions as floated by TAG, BATTUC, PEATTU and CATTU in Bamenda last weekend. The Regional Delegate for Secondary Education, Apah Johnson, reported during the meeting that, 4,706 students are attending classes in the South West Region of a total number of 150, 000 students in the Region. At the level of the University of Buea, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Nalova Lyonga reported that 150 Students were at the University of Buea yesterday ready for classes. The various confessional educational authorities present at the meeting said they were very willing to open their doors, but expressed one major worry, being that of security. They also said it is their authorities and proprietors who had the competent say about it. They emphasised that they as churches remain apolitical and exposed that they were receiving threats from unknown sources. The joint meeting regretted that most of the students have resorted to either farming or trading with their parents thereby losing the taste of education.

"No Reason To Continue The Strike"

Bernard Okalia Bilai, Governor of South West Region.

"You know that the pretext of schools not opening is the teachers' strike. Now that the syndicates themselves have lifted the strike in Bamenda last 3rd February, there is no more reason for schools not to resume. We have no more reason to continue the strike. We have agreed with promoters of schools to resume schools in the next 48 hours in the South West Region. They should send letters like when they did when they were sending their children home. These children must come and enjoy their rights as youths on the National Youth Day, next Saturday."

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