Cameroon: Higher Education - Classes Effectively Begin Today

Over 400,000 students are said to be concerned and e-learning will be optimised during the course of the year.

State and private universities nationwide today begin lessons for the 2010/2021 academic year. The Ministry of Higher Education as well as the different universities have taken measures to ensure that the school year is hitch-free amidst the health crisis, which is creating an unprecedented change in the national and international university systems.

Various public and private academic institutions in the country will be opening their different amphitheatres, after a long period of interruption of classes imposed by the Covid-19. The Minister of Higher Education recently chaired a meeting with Vice-Chancellors and Rectors of State Universities, the Inter-States Congo-Cameroon University, and the promoters of private higher education institutes. During that meeting, the different parties examined the academic, digital, financial, infrastructural, and socio-cultural aspects in the University milieu.

Important to note is that, during this academic year, e-learning in the higher education sector will be maximized. In this light, 10 university digital development centres have been fully built and equipped (one centre per State University, at the University of Congo-Cameroon in Sangmelima and a National Development Centre digital university). These centres, the Minister of Higher Education, Professor Jacques Fame Ndongo said, are in addition to the 500,000 computers offered by the Head of State to students of public and private universities. E-learning, the Minister of Higher Education reveals, will be consolidated during this academic year, especially as the bandwidth has increased through an agreement between the ministry and the telecommunications operation, CAMTEL signed last September 8, 2020. This was made possible through the Head of State trust fund to curb Covid-19 in the country. The maximized bandwidth will make it possible to boost e-learning and reduce physical distancing (teachers, students, and support staff). This will prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As the resumption of face-to-face classes begins today after the physical closure of various campuses, the heads of public and private university institutions are now set for another school year with a difference. Barrier measures against Covid-19 are being reiterated on different university platforms. On the website of the University of Buea, a running banner reads "Covid-19 is real! Wash or sanitize your hands often, wear a facemask and practice social distancing. Thus, the watchword is vigilance for members of the university community.

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