By Ndi Eugene Ndi - The 2010/2011 academic year began some weeks ago for pupils and students in Cameroon. Prior to the official re-opening Monday September 6, 2010, officials of the central and external services of the Ministry of Basic Education met in their traditional annual conference in Yaoundé.
One of the preoccupations of the participants at this two days meeting was the cholera epidemic in the Far North Region of Cameroon. The epidemic had already spread to other regions like the North with several deaths registered most of them young school goers. Apart from the fact that young school goers were affected, primary schools had been transformed into treatment centres and at two weeks to resumption, officials were fine-tuning measures on how the pupils of these affected regions could resume classes. In order to do this, the ministry had embarked on raising awareness among pupils and parents that was why the slogan ‘No Cholera in Schools’ was immediately adopted.
Youssouf Hadidja Alim, the Minister of Basic Education indicated that emphasis should be placed on hygiene especially in areas with limited access to pipeborne water. All schools would be quipped with modern toilets or latrines, water points and pupils educated on waste disposal.
During the two days meeting, officials evaluated the just ended 2009/2010 academic year and fine-tuned strategies for the proper resumption of the 2010/2011 academic year which according to the officials would be characterised by many stakes that had to be overcome.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting, the Minister of Basic Education, Youssouf Hadija Alim, expressed satisfaction with the results of the 2010 edition of examinations organised by her Ministerial department. The CEP scored 82.58 %, FSLC 81.78 %, Common Entrance 72.25 % and CAMPIEMP scoring 99.30 %. She was happy with all her collaborators for the fact that the road map assigned to her ministerial department for the academic year 2009/2010 was realised.
Holding under the theme “The 2010/2011 academic year in the context of Decentralisation”, it was an opportunity for the Inspector General of services in the Ministry of Basic Education, Nanga Charles, to elaborate on the decentralisation text relating to the Ministry of Basic Education and the state of Advancement by the Ministry of Basic Education.
In his exposé, Nanga Charles made it clear that despite the transfer of competence to councils, the nature of school buildings, location, classroom sizes, and transfer of teachers amongst others will be decided upon by the Ministry of Basic education.
Speaking at the closing, the Minister of Basic education urged her collaborators not to go slumber due to the fact that the results of the 2009/2010 academic year were satisfactory but they should continue to work harder to ameliorate the results.
Talking to the press, the South West Regional Delegate for Basic Education, Njika Joseph, was optimistic that the transfer of competence will facilitate the award of contracts as this will no more be done at the central services. He said the minimum packages being disbursed to schools will come in on time as the process has been decentralised.
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