By Tapuka Gerald, March 8, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Buea – Cameroon Government’s frustration at getting students back to school keeps on mounting depicted by desperate tactics authorities are employing to get the students in the classroom.
Some teachers in the South West regional capital of Buea, who opted for anonymity, confided to The Cameroon Journal how government authorities, including Okalia Bilai Bernard, Southwest Governor, are increasingly putting teachers under pressure to get students to resume classes.
The teachers said they are being forced to go to school to sign attendance sheet and teach even if there is only one student in the classroom. In some actual cases, teachers have actually been forced to teach just a student in a class of about 60. “We have been forced to go to school and even when we see one student we are forced to teach,” one of the teachers told The Journal.
The teachers testified how they have resorted to begging students to come to class unlike before when students were punished even for coming late. Another teacher whose name we cannot also mention said the situation is really unusual. “We have seen all sorts of
things here; students come to school in assorted dresses, some even come with plaited hair; Rasta, artificial hair and all the likes. It is terrible,” the teacher said. Despite all the pressure, teachers say schools have not been effective and they still don’t go to class every day.
In an interview over CRTV in January, UNESCO representative to Cameroon Paul Ombiono, stated that a blank academic year covers an entire country and not just a region like the case of Cameroon. Ombiono said, an academic year has about 900 hours and it is expected for a student to cover at least 600 of those hours for his certificate to be validated by the world body. He suggested that if classes do not resume in Cameroon in the nearest future, UNESCO would not recognize any certificate from Cameroon. In this wise even Francophone schools would be affected. It is this chaos that the government is trying to avoid. Schools have been suspended in Anglophone Cameroon now since early November 2016.