By Isidore Abah, Thursday, October 26, 2017
Southern Cameroons Journal, Buea – Despite the lingering strike action undertaken by Anglophone Teachers’ Trade Unions bordering on the deliberate erosion and bastardisation of the Anglo-Saxon System of Education in Cameroon, the University of Buea (UB) administrative authorities’ new admission requirements is further desecrating the system.
In a recent announcement predicated on the admissions into the university, the school authorities wrote: “Candidates who do not have a pass in English Language at GCE O/L are encouraged to apply, however, they will be expected to sit and pass an English Proficiency Test which will be organised by the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, at a cost.
Candidates who passed in four papers only, at the GCE O/L are also encouraged to apply.”
The aforementioned admission requirements are contrary to the statutes on which the University of Buea was created.
Popular opinion is that the school authorities have seemingly heeded the calls of many Anglophones, especially members of the Southwest Chiefs Conference (SWECC), who accused the school authorities of discriminating against Anglophones students in Cameroon.
On July 17, in a SWECC executive meeting chaired by Senator Nfon V E Mukete, in Buea, the Chiefs decried what they termed anti-Anglophone admissions rules into UB.
The issue of entry requirements into UB, especially the clause prescribing GCE Ordinary Level English as basic criteria for Anglophones, and an English placement test for Francophone students, was what irked the Chiefs who
frowned at the fact that Anglophone students who have spent their entire educational life learning and writing in English are denied entry into UB, while Francophone students, who can barely speak or write English, take a few weeks to study and take an English test and are admitted.
According to the Chiefs, the entry rules into UB were discriminatory on Anglophone students.
The Chiefs also fumed that while the entry requirements grill Anglophone students and send them away because they failed the GCE Ordinary Level exam, the very administration allows lecturers who can barely speak the English Language to lecture the students, and sometimes do so in French or in crude Pidgin English.
The Chiefs added that the laws prescribing English Language as a requirement for Anglophone students should be repealed.
After discussing the issue, the Chiefs suggested that in order to be fair to all, the administration should make sure that English Language classes and test taken by the Francophone students should also be taken by Anglophones who failed the English Language examination at the GCE Ordinary Level and want to study in UB.
The recent changes, from all indications, are as a result of the Chiefs’ remarks and expressed determination to end the aged-old admission obnoxious rules.
But many graduates of the institution who spoke to this reporter stated that relaxing the admission requirements is not only compromising the standards of UB, but giving more opportunities now to more and more Francophone students.