School is a good thing, failure is a bad thing

By Charlie Ndi Chia

“School is a good thing, learning is a good thing.  I come to school to learn…” Every Anglophone kid that has as much as passed through Kindergarten can chant this well known rhyme. The mentally deranged boko haram sect members in their opium dream of taking this country back to the pristine era are aware of this fact. At least, when they do experience some tantrums of sanity, these social dregs accept and actually employ the end product of schooling in perpetrating their primitive, wicked Empire. One is talking here of the firearms, vehicular technology and Improvised Explosive Devises, IEDs, which these lunatics have been employing in dastardly assaults in the north of Cameroon.

The boko haram idiocy could be traced to and blamed on monotonous or outright failed governance. This would also hold true for social media poachers and information traffickers. I understand that boko haram rattle-heads also rely so much on social media facilities in perpetrating their evil empire. One sees the late Chinua Achebe’s clairvoyance in what is playing out in today’s Cameroon. He had written, inter alia, in one of his epic novels: “…he who brings home ant infested faggots, should not complain when lizards start paying him visits.”

Cameroon’s oligarchic leadership has been rather presumptuous and complacent for far too long. By the simple law of reciprocity, the lid had to go off at one point or the other. The bubble was bound to burst.

And those organizing ‘ghost towns’ and schools boycott have, unwittingly, gone beyond demanding for just democratic constitutionality, equity and fairness. They want out! They have fought the oligarchic leadership to a standstill; asserting their rights to what they say should be an independent statehood alternative. Truth be told; the head of state’s approach to addressing the earth-shaking agitations and placating the agitators, or why not, the people of the Southwest and Northwest Regions one way or the other, has been indolent. He has opted for both denial and palliatives. And none is working, so far. Most of the age-long structural imbalances are yet to be earnestly addressed, especially the geo-political imbalance.

Hence, the resort to rather deviant methods, including ‘ghost towns’, arson, school boycott and other forms of civil disobedience. The resounding noises from the exercise are however, discordant. One is hard put to understand how puppeteers got to the point in which they are today and how they are able to employ ‘ghost marionettes and call the shots from God knows where, without as much as firing a single shot.

 

Particularly touchy is the option, the tactic if you will, of stopping kids from going to school and torching private and public property. But this is where the banality of evil has been courted over the years, by an inept governance system, until it festered.

To this extent, both the Government and those that oppose it easily give ridiculous reasons for committing gaffe after gaffe; for taking the generality of the masses for granted. Both hirelings of the regime and common folk are only too quick to rationalize, to justify contemptible actions. They commit the most evil, horrendous things if, and when they believe or are persuaded by a higher authority that their acts are either justified or part of their duty. Consequently, security goons shoot and kill, loot and rape with relish, while frustrated, faceless protesters, acting on instructions from “leaders” burn and organize boycotts.

Note the useless [“explaining”] Safari trips by Government Man Fridays and “Chop Dies” to Europe and the US and the burning of schools and business premises by rented hoodlums! Actions such as these diminish our consciousness or understanding of the ominous issues they mask.

Yet, when the chips are down, common sense dictates that you cannot be together without negotiating the terms of your existence. It goes for husband and wife, employer and employee, friend and friend, landlord and tenant, Anglophone and Francophone, governors and governed, player and coach, and I dare say owner and thief, Saddam Hussein and George Bush. They must negotiate!

Whatever, the line between anger and hate, between affection and disaffection is what accounts for tension in the land today.

Tough talk from the president, I can assure you, is tantamount to the puny fart a dog breaks to put out a fire. Biya, the head servant of Cameroon needs to eat humble pie and save this country from wolves in every camp. The twaddle from Tchiroma and other regime slaves and jesters; the language of hatred from renegade generals in retreat; the childlike hope in the United Nations and other Western contraptions will never solve the problems of Cameroonians. Only genuine dialogue will. And Biya holds the key to it.

One more word…

I can only trust that Biya is aware of the fact that one man’s hate is another man’s love. History is beckoning on him to save human life! School is definitely good. Yes! But failure in politicking and economic husbandry is bad… worse, if you don’t mind!

 

 

Exhausted, Anglophones challenge Biya to expedite schools resumption

As the countdown to September 4, official reopening day for schools relating to the 2017/2018 academic year, gradually gathers steam, amidst contrary opinions regarding compliance with Government insistence that parents send their children to school, education stakeholders in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon have indicted the President of the Republic for the epilepsy that has befallen schools in the area.

They have challenged him to “climb down from his high horse” and resolve the Anglophone Crisis so that their kids can return to school come September. They rained their anger as the ‘back-to-school’ fever nears a life threatening stage in the French speaking regions while uncertainty continues to loom the English speaking Regions. This set of stakeholders are vexed that their kindred risk losing another academic year due to “Biya’s impertinence and nonchalance” in the face of the calamity which is lame-ducking their part of the country politically, economically and now, academically.

Since November 2016, when the Anglophone teachers and Common Law Lawyers’ strike action ripened, crime wave has palpably amplified. From the razing of markets, private residences and property, schools have now become the new target for the “vipers”. Vandalism seems to have found a home, whether temporary or not in this part of the “Land of Promise” as diehards of school boycott have proven they will leave no stone unturned in their pursuit.

This wreckage has further split the aggrieved Anglophone community into factions. It is a complete squander of meagre resources for some, while others hold it is the only way to force the powers that be to give in to their demands. The question begging for answers is whether this does not further wane their crippling economy.

Although parents have failed to be unanimous on resumption for the 2017/2018 academic year, they have all expressed the desire to see their kids back in the classrooms soonest. Some argue that keeping children at home for another year while their mates from across the Mungo are schooling in tranquility is insane of Anglophone parents.

According to Marceline Namondo, the current marginalization cry will be deafening in the nearest future, if Anglophone kids do not join their Francophone brothers with immediacy. “We are here, grumbling about marginalization and instead of sending our children to school so that they can put an end to it, we are keeping them at home, making sure they will be marginalized like us. It is crazy.”

Another parent opined that pressing for school resumption without a lasting solution to the Anglophone predicament is chasing the wind. “I think we are practically chasing the shadow, avoiding the substance. I do not believe any parent hates their child that much to deny them the right to education. The current problem of school boycott is just fallout of a bigger problem which must be addressed. Isolating education from the general scepter of things will be doing a disservice to getting a lasting solution to the whole crisis,” he defended.

Civil Society activist, Dr. Ndi Richard Tanto, on a Vision 4 TV panel program on school resumption noted, that “the issue of schools is the consequence of a problem and cannot be solved in isolation. If the core problem is solved, the others will wither off.”

Questions abound as to where they would study if pupils and students were to throng into classrooms that have reopened, amidst recurrent arsonist ventures aiming at school establishments.

Businesses in the incapacitated Regions testify the likelihood of schools not resuming. All tailor shops we visited had no school uniform materials in them. Some tailors confided in The Rambler that being in possession of any school gadgets seemed “illegal.” According to them, such gadgets were not even on the market.

School proprietor, Dr. Nick Ngwanyam, blurted out of how he was “sick and tired of the whole situation. Little girls are getting pregnant all over the whole place and the boys just cooking up into good time thieves.” Asked about the state of his business, he forwarded another question, “Can you spell H-E-L-L? You got it!

“My dear, I am just pissed off with the whole thing. Just watching from a distance and taking my time. If Government had acted rightly from the start, we will not be in this mess today. I am tired,” He complained.

The debate continues steaming on whether school reopening will be effective in the former West Cameroon come September 2017.

By Claudia Nsono

Will shuttered Anglophone schools reopen on September 4?

 

Will shuttered Anglophone schools reopen on September 4?

Amid a cacophony of voices, each, upholding supremacy of its position relating to the desirability or otherwise for a smooth reopening of schools come September 4, Anglophones are in a quagmire. Those who angle for another year of acrimonious relationship between parents, pupils and students on the one hand and Government on the other, see villainy in everyone who attempts to drum the now clearly evident school boycott fatigue, and by this token, unfettered resumption of school on September 4.

On the other hand, those in support of hitch-free schools resumption posit that the cabal behind the ghost schools campaign is constituted by ‘dreamers’ who have lost touch with their cradle, given that some of them have not been home for many decades. To this effect, they do not only lack the moral standing, but more importantly, the mandate of the people who see them as opportunists out to benefit from the absence of the real leaders, currently wriggling from the shocks of unlawful detention in Kondengui Maximum Prison in Yaounde. Moreover, they say, these Quixotic individuals instilling fear on the local population sit in the relative comfort of their oversea abodes and splash orders of school boycott when their children are comfortably acquiring quality education that will make them leaders of tomorrow.

It is in this circumstance of dicey fate that The Rambler sought to sample the opinions of some Anglophones in Buea, Kumba and Bamenda. Of course, it is, as usual, a cocktail of dissentions and consensus without unanimity.

Schools will resume

I think schools will resume, because without education, we are nothing. Those preaching against school resumption should see the need for children to be in school while they continue with their political affairs. It is my wish that schools should resume because the situation with kids is now terrible. My kids are tempted with stealing and they also mingle with bad friends.

N Isaac Chulong, Potter – Bamenda

S It will be a dull school year

I think all schools are going to open their doors in September but only few students would go to school. This is because, many parents and children would be afraid to go to school, given the insecurity in town nowadays and threats people are receiving if they send children to school. Many people will be eager to send their children to school but would be afraid.

Ngong Christopher, parent – Buea

We want children back in school

The atmosphere for back to school looks so weak. This time in previous years used to be characterized by a hustle and bustle.The atmosphere this year is very cold, indicating that the 2017/2018 academic year in the Northwest and Southwest Regions would hardly take off. We want children to go back to school because what we are fighting for does not concern children.

Norbert Kouokong, Carpenter – Bamenda

Atmosphere is pessimistic

I don’t think schools would resume because I see no movements. Even announcements made in Church by mission schools are not heeded. Schools are ‘dry and very bushy.’ No registration or fee payment is ongoing. The atmosphere is really pessimistic

Wesley Tantoh, Carpenter – Bamenda

Gov’t has the answer

We all know what it takes for schools to resume this September. Government knows as well. Peaceful dialogue has to be actualized; Apprehended Anglophone activists should be released. After all these, I think I would be hundred percent sure schools would resume. Government has to get serious, stop beating around the bush. Let it show concern for the Anglophones who have been offended and downplayed.

Lekenyie Isidore, Businessman – Buea

 There are still assignments to be done

If we compare the previous year’s preparation and that of this year, there is an indication that schools would not reopen.  Government still has lots of unfinished assignments. Only after doing these assignments would parents send children to school. It is true that the right to education is inalienable and there is also the right to freedom of opinion but I don’t think Anglophones would respond to calls for school resumption if Government does not listen to their cry.

Rigobert Figo Dze, Political Analyst – Bamenda

Definitely not in September

I don’t see schools beginning in the Northwest and Southwest Regions this academic year. Even if it might begin it will definitely not be in September. I hear PCC teachers are asking for four months’ salary before school resumption. This is just another means to complicate the reopening of schools. Worst thing is that, even Government schools in Kumba are not saying anything about schools reopening.Their campuses don’t look like there is anything to happen in September.

Terrence Ngandi, Parent – Kumba

I cannot tell

I cannot really say whether children would go back to school or not. I think dialogue can change the situation. Government should release detained Anglophones, call for frank dialogue and grant the people’s desire. With that move, I think schools would resume and life will return to normal.

Karen Lienteng, Callbox Operator – Bamenda

It’s far-fetched

Schools will not begin in September in these two Anglophone Regions and we risk having a blank year again. All dialogue has failed. No dialogues so far with parents. Strikers, requesting release of their detained leaders, arson on schools is on the rise and you are talking of resumption? That’s far-fetched! Nothing has been said about school fees; those are the things parents want to hear, not the re-echoing of schools must start that had become the order of the day by politicians who want to be seen when they are actually not doing anything to help the situation.

 Ma Agnes Sone, Parent – Kumba

If Gov’t takes action schools will operate

By this time last year we saw books on auction sales, right now, there is nothing. Places are deserted, with students leaving the Northwest and Southwest. We who have no means to move to other towns don’t even know what to do. Schools cannot operate, until Government takes positive action. If the Government of Cameroon can create a way for children to go back to school, then it would really be commendable.

Milton Ngong, Student – Bamenda

A word to a wise is sufficient

Schools that will begin this September will be Francophone schools in the Southwest and Northwest. As for Anglophone schools, parents now understand that what CRTV was announcing on their news about schools effectively going on were all lies. See what results we got at the GCE this year. The results speak for themselves. Therefore, any parent sending their children to school in these two Regions are the biggest clowns when Anglophones detainees have not been released. And just in case any calamity befalls them, they will have themselves to blame. While Etoudi will be there in enjoyment, they will be here crying. A word to the wise is sufficient.

 Junior Wise, Kumba

Schooling atmosphere not conducive

The atmosphere is not conducive for school reopening. Normally, this is the time when students get set for back-to-school by paying fees and getting all their accessories for school. I stood and watched a boarding school where students were carrying away their trunks from school instead of bringing them in. We are just waiting to see whether things would change on September 4.

 Mesco Nkemti, Potter – Bamenda

No ghost will remove students from class

Schools will start only if parents allow their children to go.Teachers, especially, those of Government schools are ready to go back to class but the worry is, will parents allow student to them? If parents take the challenge that their children’s future is more important than this ghost they don’t see, it will yield fruits come September. Parents need to be educated, especially those in remote areas and no ghost will come remove students from class.

Becky, primary school teacher – Kumba

Schools would resume, by God’s Grace

It is only by God’s Grace that schools would resume in the Northwest and Southwest Regions. I see children leaving the Northwest for schools in Francophone zones.  There is much that needs to be settled to enable the reopening. Politicians need to come to some concession that would guarantee children’s education – those in prison should be freed and security should be put in place.

Dieudonne Tanyi, Businessman – Bamenda

Bamenda is being deserted

This is a time when Bamenda Commercial Avenue was supposed to be buzzing, roads busy with children travelling from different towns and countries to come and school in Bamenda but what we see is the reverse.  Bamenda is being deserted. Our children are moving out to schools elsewhere, while others are seeking for refuge. These are not factors to support school resumption.

Robert Nzifnah, Businessman – Bamenda

Schools have to resume

When you look at the present situation and carefully analyze it, you would see that schools have to reopen. I know things are not okay for us but we need to persevere and reopen school doors because of the value of education to us.

Sotie Con Linston, Business man – Buea

 God forbid!

Schools can never resume when Government has decided to prove to us that they are stubborn. We would also show them what mettle we are made of.

   Anonymous Respondent, Buea

 I prefer my life to school

I am not sure schools will resume in these two Regions in September. As a student, am not sure of my security; just on Sunday August 20, fliers announcing ‘Ghost Town’ and burning of schools as retribution against failure to respect it were circulating. I like my life more than I like school. The high ranking officials are quick to announce that schools will resume, but nothing about children’s security is talked about.

Tamba Joshua, Student GHS Kosala-Kumba

No signs of school resumption

This is a period that is supposed to boom with the selling of books, school uniforms, pens, shoes, school bags, etc.  August is expiring, yet there are no signs that schools would resume. We are demanding the release of our jailed leaders that would create an enabling environment for school resumption.

Jude Njinwi, Trader Bamenda

Compiled By Mildred Ndum Wung Kum, Ngende Esther Boh & Atembeh Ngewung Lordfred

Meme CPDM tottering on hitch-free schools resumption queue

The quest to be seen to be in the league of the Government schools resumption mantra has hit Meme Division in full force, with CPDM party chieftains and sympathizers converging on the party secretariat in Kumba, to map out hitch-free school resumption strategy in Anglophone Cameroon in general and Southwest Region and Meme Division in particular, come September 4, 2017.

This display of alliance with the Government was fore-grounded on Saturday, August 19, in Kumba, during a joint section conference bringing together party members of the five Sub-Divisional components of Meme Division.

Addressing the party members and sympathizers at the party secretariats in Kumba Town, the host section president for Meme I A, Lawson Tabot Bakia, told the population that the only reason for the section conference was to plead with parents to send children back to school come September 4, this year. In his words: “Meme speaks as one; children must go to school, and our children will not stay at home, and do not respect orders from ghosts you don’t see or internet generals as you call them.

The conference whose theme was ‘peace and dialogue’ attracted many high profile members including CPDM Senators, MPs, and the entire permanent Divisional Central Committee delegation.

Relating to the lawyers strike and its bearing on non- resumption of schools, Barrister Andy Tabi Abanga, told the party faithfuls that many, if not all, of their requests as regard the functioning of Common Laws lawyers, have been respected but the only thing keeping the courts closed is that their members are still in prisons for no crimes and, so, advised them that if they want courts to be opened and children to return to classrooms, all persons imprisoned in relation to the crisis should be released.

While agreeing that children will be sent to school, and that traditional rulers will do their best to educate others on the importance of doing so, the Vice President of Meme Chiefs Conference Chief Elango Akama, presented the chieftains with what onlookers characterized as rather challenging. He said: “No parent will be happy that a child be promoted to a new class without having studied, which is injustice; what is the situation of school fees for students who did not use it he queried, rhetorically?” Those are what he termed unanswered preoccupations for a peaceful September.

He, accordingly, proposed that September to December be used to cover last year’s syllabuses and  that exams be set such that those who pass be promoted  to new classes in January and fees for last year used for such purpose while those who make it, pay fees in January for a new academic year or for a new class.

At the end of the conference, the Meme CPDM adherents through Senator Mofa Andrew Otte, forwarded the usual hackneyed motion of support to the head of state, gratifying him for the umpteenth time with the obvious, even if redundant, status of presidential candidate, already enshrined in CPDM statutes. He equally advised his adherents of voting age to massively register on the electoral roll.

By Ngende Esther Boh

Government back to school mantra takes Santa hostage

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

The uphill task of ensuring that classrooms in Anglophone Cameroon, padlocked 10 months ago as a mark of parent solidarity with striking teachers and lawyers, open up to receive students and pupils come September 4, 2017, as preached by Government, amid fear of threats, has preoccupied Santa CPDM elite to the point where, not surprisingly,they have under the tutelage of Fru Jonathan, Inspector General at the Ministry of Public Contracts in charge of Performance and Evaluation, called on parents and students to shun all anti school resumption noises and prepare for the next academic year.

The call was made Friday August 18 in Santa.

With few students, dressed in their school uniforms, and all head teachers and principals of schools within Santa present, Fru Jonathan, handed over didactic material, comprising books, pens and pencils to head teachers and principals on behalf of the students and pupils.

As if to contradict themselves, the event organizers announced that the material shall not be kept in the school campuses but shall be kept at the gendarmerie brigade post for they have received threats that the books shall be burnt. The cost of the material donated was valued at FCFA 5 million.

The event was also, an opportunity for the organizers to call for effective school resumption in Santa come Monday, September 4. Speaking earlier, Mayor Mosses Khan, educated the people on what Government has done so far to solve the Anglophone Crisis.

“If you look around, you will see that all the demands made by the lawyers and the teachers have been met, so there is no need why schools should not go on,” he said.

Like Fru Jonathan, before him, and citing Nelson Mandela, who called for children to go to school even during the dreaded apartheid, insisted that parents should send children to school come September 4. “They have been armed with their bags, rulers, pencils and pens. They know that school shall start. Santa is made up of very intelligent people and we can never be fooled, reason why our children must return to school. We, as elite are united and since the start of the crisis, there is nothing like ghost town here. The schools that struggled with the crisis have had some encouraging results. I seriously think that the threats that are coming shall not reach Santa because the people have said no to ghost town and yes to back to school,” said Jonathan.

 

Though it is a usual annual event, this year’s edition has additional colour as it was used by the elite to counter mass school boycott in protest of several demands made way back in November 2016, by the teachers and lawyers and hitherto some of them have not been solved and this has been met by Governments high handedness of multiple arrests and detentions of several Anglophones who are incarcerated at the Gendarmerie Headquarters and at the Kondengui Maximun Security Prisons.

 

 

UB VC to parley with students, stop certificate racketeering

By Nester Asonganyi

Newly installed Vice Chancellor, VC, of the University of Buea, UB, Prof. Ngomo Horace Manga, has announced that he will place high premium on students’ welfare, cleaning of central administration payroll and ensuring that funds are readily available for routine management exigencies, as part of an unalterable resolve to provide necessary new impetus into the institution. He was, however, not very upbeat that his institution is still convalescing from the absence of many students on campus and the dearth of regular,  timely and relevant communication between UB and various stakeholders.

Prof. Ngomo was speaking at a recent press briefing in Buea, after a contact tour of the various campuses, faculties and departments of UB. Issuing from the above, the VC x-rayed UB and promised brighter days for the institution he adjudges to have undergone undeserved acrimonies. He has also, vowed to maintain UB’s high profile with dialogue as main administrative tool. Nearly all the foremost issues related to the welfare of everyone and everything in UB came under review and received clearly satisfactory responses from the VC.

In line with governing statutes of the university, Prof Ngomo, unequivocally averred that fake certificates will be withdrawn and personnel involved dismissed.

“Those with fake certificates know they will leave the employ of the university and will be dismissed. As to whether they will refund the funds paid to them by way of salaries and other advantages, we will worry about that later,” said the VC.

He assured that those who by anyway possible would have misled the University into admitting them using fake certificates, as well as UB workers who must have been complicit in getting somebody admitted with a fake certificate, will face the same consequences.

The VC stated: “If for instance, you have a fake GCE Advanced Level or you had one paper and if on investigation there was no exoneration by the University to allow you enter with one Advanced Level subject, and you pursued your studies to the level of BSc, MSc, or PhD; let me be very clear; the University of Buea Senate that authorized the award of the degree, will instruct its withdrawal.”

Prof, Ngomo, bragged that UB is an institution which, through the years, has an image of quality assurance; an image which goes beyond this country and so he must work to avoid its being tainted.  He said besides the Mayor of Buea whose case, incidentally, went viral due to the socio-political position he occupies in this municipality, there are other support staff involved in the fake certificate scandal.

Ekema’s certificate case abnormal

On the case of Buea Mayor, which he said seems to interest many, they held a close-up meeting with Minister of Higher Education, immediately, after his installation, during which the issue was, particularly, reviewed and they found it a little bit abnormal. “About Mr. Ekema’s certificate, just know that investigations are ongoing; we are working with the institutions that issue certificates to ensure the veracity of the certificates. We have already finished most of the investigations but you know this is an institution and we have to be very cautious how we move,” he noted.

On the thorny and recurrent decimal issue how best to manage students affairs, the VC announced that there will be federated student unions not former UBSU.

He parried concerns about the current absence of students’ union with information to the effect that, there are several configurations which can be adopted to get the same results. Contrary to the authoritative UBSU, he said the current one will be federative and more democratic; departments and faculty representatives will be elected, in a federative manner, students will elect their leaders. He said nobody needs retelling the kind of effervescence created by UBSU that engulfed the campus in the yesteryears.

“We will not want to authorize any arrangement whose outcome we already know. I beseeched the students to submission; they saw reason with me because the UBSU that we know had raised lawlessness to elegance and those who lived by this lawlessness were apparently heroes in the neighbourhoods and feared by their contemporaries.  I want that mindset to leave this university,” stated Prof. Ngomo.

He said: “you can’t be in a sinking boat and you’re asking for more cargo to be added,’ hence, the university should be focused on achieving its goal; that of producing competent individuals its nation desires… There is no elegance in creating acrimony, no! This university doesn’t merit it.”

Tickled on his disposition to students welfare, the VC was quite buoyant and, immediately, announced that he wasn’t not insensitive to the plight of students.

In his opinion, the inconveniences the students are going through, especially, movement into and within the campus, given that this is the rainy season, are permanently on his problem detection radar.

“Let me repeat that I am not insensitive to students’ complaints. If these were students of other universities with different antecedents, I would have said, ‘reinstitute the taxi service.’ But you know the behaviour of our students here; if for any reason, you say taxis should circulate the campus for 10 days and for any reason, rain falls on one student on the 11th day, it will be the beginning of a new crisis. So, you better don’t start something when you know the outcome. It is not only students who suffer the rains. I have contemplated and at one point I was even signing, but certain collaborators drew my attention to certain peculiarities which made me shiver and said no.”

 

By way of personal observation, the VC posited that a derisive paucity in publicity exists in UB that mars efforts to project the institutions potentials and actual realizations.

“I am amazed by the fact that not enough publicity was not given to what the university has. From a distance, I could only judge Buea University from the quality of its products and how widespread they are in the various enterprises. The quality of the graduates in the entrepreneurial landscape speaks of the quality of teachers who teach them. That also tells you how passionate our teachers are; how they go the extra mile in those difficult circumstances to give their all and not to compromise quality but to ensure that their products are the best.”

 Reverting to the domain of challenges and prospects by way of denouement to the communion with men of the press, the VC affirmed the existence of myriad problems from administrative standpoint, including insufficient teaching staff, insufficient work space and insufficient funds. From students’ perspective, it is the lack of communication between them and the administration that is at the root of perennial stand- offs. This, the VC said, he has immediately resolved, because it is a matter of personal disposition. “I have told the students that I am available whenever they want to see me.

“The other problem I have worked on is that of individuals in our work force with fake certificates; who have slipped into our payroll which we need to clean because it constitutes a huge financial burden to the university which if we are not careful, would stifle the functioning of the central services,” he said.

 

Is education minister, GCE BOD registrar in conflict?

The decision by the Minister of Secondary Education, Ernest Bibehe, to sign the final deliberation of the and proclamation of results of this year’s General Certificate of Education, GCE, in lieu of the Registrar of the GCE Board, Humphrey Ekema Monono, instantly suggests two things; namely that the latter’s powers have been whittled down and the penchant of Government disregard of Anglophone sensitivity. This conspiracy theory is being fueled by social media crusaders.

They are prodded on by the fact that ordinarily, the results of the GCE are officially sanctioned by the Registrar; but that this year’s palpable turbulent process has been subjected to the whims of an embattled Government, still insistent on scoring a pyrrhic victory even at the expense of credible scholarship.  The social media has been awash with speculations that certificates accruing from the GCE exam under review are most likely to be discountenanced by many institutions at home and abroad, going by the controversial and unorthodox manner in which the project was carried out.

The BOD Registrar, Humphrey Ekema is even quoted in the social media as daring his supervisory authority, the secondary education minister to hands off the conduct of GCE exams. The social media buffs claim that Ekema is like overly anxious to rescue GCE standards from crumbling under political selfish weight. Contacted however, Monono distances himself from such claims, noting: “How can I disrespect my minister? How can I bang my hand on the table against him? Let the social media go on with all the rumours. I take responsibility for what I am doing. I am not in conflict with my minister. I am not disobeying anybody…”

However, for reasons of authenticity and cultural resilience, Anglophones had fought and wrested the GCE Board from Government in the mid 90s and since then, successfully, organized the conduct of the examination to the extent that technical schools too, found solace in the uprightness of the conduct of examinations by the Board.

Howbeit, owing to the current stand-off between Government and Anglophones, the Minister of Secondary Education has, from all indications, arrogated to himself the prerogative of managing GCE examinations, a circumstance that many Anglophones are viewing with unbridled worry.

It is worthy of notice that this year’s GCE came against the backdrop of a tug of war between a resolute Government determined to prove that it is in control, and Anglophone parents and students who, since November 2016, have been giving Government a run for its money regarding the desirability or otherwise to write an examination that requires meticulous preparation, under very inauspicious circumstances.

Eddy Motale, a parent in Sandpit, Buea, believes that Government has highjacked the GCE and this year’s indiscretion by the Secondary Education Minister is prelude to complete the takeover of the management of the examination by Government. He furthered that in such a situation, observers are at a loss as to whose interest the Government is representing; itself or the Anglophones for whom the examination is intended.

Theresa Sakwe, a secretary with one of the Councils in the Southwest Region sees the hand of some overtly ambitious Anglophones in high positions in Government in the matter. She contends that for want of integrity and undeserved promotions, such traitors have been engineering Government miscalculations without any regard for the fate of the children who are the ultimate prime sufferers.

Be that as it may, the decision to sign the final proclamation of this year’s GCE results by the Minister of Secondary Education will remain a very bitter pill to swallow for Anglophones. If for no other reason, the fact that the Registrar of the GCE Board has been sidelined, or relegated to the back burner is very evident and raises prospects of maintaining the status quo, a circumstance that will further aggravate the alienation from which Anglophones are currently wriggling themselves.