Friday, September 7, 2012

North West Secondary Education Stakeholders Call For Accelerated Reforms

Cameroon - The Cameroon government may continue to fail in its economic development policy if the system of education is not improved upon to meet the accelerating changes of the global world. Given that Education is the foundation of any modern society, the socio economic demise of Cameroon should be blamed on the education reforms on the nation.

In this light, for Cameroon to become an emerging nation by 2035, officials of the Ministry of Secondary Education and Basic education should go back to the drawing board and come out reforms that would tie with vision. Good educational reforms remain the panacea to Cameroon economic development. It is apparently on this premise that stakeholders of the Ministry of Secondary Education in the Northwest, meeting in a sector conference to fine tune activities of the ministry in the region  ahead of the commencement of the 2012/2013 school year, examined problems  and proposed solution to plight of the sector.

The theme of the 2012-2013  school year was Pedagogy of excellence at the service of professionalism of Education for an emerging Cameroon. In French:  ‘Une P├ędagogie de l’Excellence au service de la Professionalisation des Enseignements pour un Cameroun Emergeant’

Some of the stake holders envisage a doom in the take off given preparatory measures for the effective beginning of 2012-2013 academic were bugged by the suspension of admission and registration processes which started late and  further compounded by the late creation , transformation and opening of schools. Late transfer and appointment of administrative personnel in various educational institutions as well

Other constrains raised in a synoptic appraisal and analyses by the stake holders via a paper presented by the divisional delegate of Secondary Education for Boyo Young Benjamin.

Although much ground has been covered and damage control measures taken to jumpstart the 2012/2013 school year, there is an overriding impression of grassroots partners, stakeholders and actors of education indicating that these constraints and weaknesses do not factor into a gradual and serene preparation by parents and guardians of their children and wards for effective assumption of classes nor does it strengthen the preparation by various school administrations and teachers of an effective take-off of a new and successful school year, it necessary for the ministry to understand that late admission and registration would lead to overcrowding and malpractices for registration in urban schools, as a result of instructions from hierarchy freezing these activities and sending wrong signals to parents. School treasury accounts management procedures beg to be clarified, standardised and harmonized for the smooth functioning and effective management of administrative:pedagogic, financial and co-curricular activities. Late transfers weaken school and class time-tabling and budgeting . 

Late Entrance into Technical High Schools occasioning late beginning of classes in the technical second cycles. Late publication of official bookslists and the unavailability of some books on the official bookslist in the book markets nationwide, inflationary prohibitive cost of books and didactic materials. Late convocation of Regional Sector Conference with attendant late convocation of staff general assemblies and subject councils in schools. 

Some Divisions still have second cycle schools and technical colleges without Bursars and inadequate administrative staff:Acute shortages of teachers especially in the newly created schools and general shortage of language and Mathematics teachers in rural schools :drastic  cuts in credits for the DDSEs that have resulted in their inability to effectively fulfil their mission statement, be present on the field and meet their targets.

On the examinations, the delegate complained that financial resources needed for transport, handling, communication and various gratifications have been while too many registration errors in entries and finances of candidates. He cited the case of practicals for the GCE for which has taken frightening overtones for accommodating Centres authorities while the failure to create more DECC examination centres is a taking a heavy toll on parents finances and students’ serenity, output and performances at official examinations.

Other irregularities of the system he went on had to do with the non-publication of the list of accredited school insurance companies. The functioning of sub-divisional FENASSCO League ‘A’ committees without financial provision and the non subvention as in Basic Education of FENASSCO League ‘A’ Games. 

 Shortage of personnel at DDSEs and lack of credit line for service heads and basic equipment and furniture for personnel do not render the working environment in most DDSEs and schools enabling. Insufficient running credits. The process of integration of newly recruited teachers is still long and give them excuses to be irregular and ineffective. 

The statutory hosting of FENASSCO ‘A’ Finals in Bamenda is strenuous to many divisions and does not factor into infrastructural development and greater awareness of sports potentials in the divisions beyond Mezam as is the pervading  abnormality of fraud and impersonation commonly referred to as use of mercenaries in sports. 

Lack of service vehicles for administrative and pedagogic supervision in the Divisions is a major handicap. Poor or no access to professional development opportunities and in service training: Absenteeism and growing professional delinquency of teachers. 

Lack of basic teaching and learning visual and sensory materials and aids in schools. Poor student orientation. Poor teacher-student relationship. Poor teacher-administration relationship. Poor teacher-class master and parent relationship. Lack of basic textbooks in public schools.

While hailing and encouraging the service heads of the sector to fully implement the Ministerial text the regional delegate of secondary education for northwest disclosed that salaries of some recalcitrant teachers of the region will be suspended in the days ahead.

The divisional delegate for Bui Division, Sir Mbekum Williams promised to implement the ministerial decision to the later while the Principal of GBHS Ndu urged his counterparts to embrace the new reforms introduced for the management of school funds, see how it goes before complaining. Meantime the principal of GBHS Jakiri in same promised total implementation of the new reforms to ensure a smooth take off and end of 2012/2013 academic year.

©2012 The Vanguard Cameroon, Bamenda. A publication of Media World. All rights reserved.  All are welcome to comment. Leave a comment, speak your mind and take part in any discussion. As exchange of ideas and debates between opinions are fundamental for our democracy. And will push Cameroon forward. Comments with racist, homophobic, sexist, hateful, extreme Christian or extreme Islamic content will be removed. Leave the CAPS-LOCK off, no reason to SHOUT.


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