By Tapuka Gerald, Dec. 22, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaoundé – Still in the heat of Anglophone teachers sit-in strike, the Minister of Higher Education and Grand Chancellor of Academic Orders, Fame Ndogo, has made another reckless statement suggesting that teachers from ENS can teach anywhere in the country irrespective of their background as if to further insult the striking teachers.
The Minister made the statement Tuesday, December 20, as he spoke at the graduation ceremony of the 55th batch of student teachers from the Yaoundé Higher Teacher Training College known by its French abbreviation as ENS. Ndongo said Cameroonian teachers can teach everywhere in the republic irrespective of the linguistic environment. He
bragged that training given to student teachers is so holistic to the extent that they can easily adapt anywhere they are sent to impart knowledge. “Science is universal and a well-trained teacher can teach anywhere,” he said, adding that “this is part of our cultural diversity.”
However, one of the laureates whom we cornered after the ceremony whose name we got only as Philip (for fear of retribution), disclosed that, they have been made to know that they can be sent to teach in any school within the boundaries of the country, whether Anglophone or francophone. Philip said the only exception they were told is the department of computer science.
Fame Ndongo’s statement is like an insult to the teachers’ trade union as one of the main reasons for their strike action is the transfer of Francophone teachers to teach in Anglophone schools. The teachers have decried the use of approximate English by the francophone teachers as language of instruction. Moreover, both systems of education have their differences and it is not just a matter of language but the subject content and way of instruction.
Current statement will go a long way to confirm what the teachers’ trade unions have been saying about Fame Ndongo; as exhibiting bad faith, reasons why they were highly critical of the commission he headed aimed at looking for solutions plaguing the Anglophone subsystem of education.
It should be noted that in Cameroon, training of secondary school teachers is exclusively in the hands of the Ministry of Higher Education. Upon training it hands them over to the Ministry of Public Service for their absorption into the Public service and the Ministry of Secondary Education that deploys them to schools throughout the national territory.