Unceasing interventions by politicians and elite in the management of schools in Cameroon, particularly in regard to appointment of school heads and transfer of teachers has been a source of great concern for the majority of education stakeholders.
To this effect, the Southwest Regional Delegate for Basic Education has said, most rural areas in her Region of command are in dire need of teachers because most transfers are done in Yaounde without her consent, thereby affecting the effective distribution of teachers.
Mrs. Dorothy Atabong made this statement as she addressed the Southwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai and other Regional stakeholders at the Kumba City Council conference hall on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, during the just ended Regional administrative and security coordination meeting.
At the event that brought together all SDOs, DOs, Government Delegates, Mayors, members of the civil society and security officials in the Region, the education family was given the first place for a technical presentation given the socio-political situation affecting the two Anglophone Regions that has greatly affected the functioning of schools.
Following such, and as was expected of her ministry, the Regional boss told those present that on the September 4, 2017 all doors of basic education within the Region were open though with timid attendance. However, those who answered present were taught. She revealed that the timidity continued till after October 9, that the delegation can boost of over 90,250 registered kids as per statistics of Monday, November 27 and many more kids registered daily.
With 11 schools in the Region having suffered destruction ranging from burning of structures to stolen documents and threats on teachers ever since the Anglophone crisis began, the Regional Basic Education boss drew the attention of stakeholders to the fact that rural areas lack teachers because of political and administrative interference. She said “political and administrative force to move teachers for transfer against my wish and ministerial procedures is one of my biggest trouble.” According to her, the ministerial text governing transfer stipulates that by the end of every academic year, teachers seeking transfers should forward their files to the Regional office for appropriate consideration, but she says no such text is respected and even when some want to follow the procedure, it’s usually done late around August when it would be impossible to start initiating transfers as everyone is set to start school.
“Most teachers don’t want to stay in the villages. They usually bypass us to Yaounde because they have connections and when you don’t comply, political big wigs who are their godfathers will compel you to. This is the reason for high absenteeism in villages,” Mrs. Atabong added. She said even the contract teachers recruited with assistance by the World Bank meant for schools in rural areas but adds most of those recruited are not aware of that and just after serving for a year or two they start pressuring you for transfer to towns.
She has therefore called on the Government through the Governor for there to be an equal distribution of teachers within the Region and the country at large adding that political leaders and administrators should not interfere by disrupting the ministerial texts on transfers and recruitment.
By Ngende Esther