Minister prays for successful conduct of GCE

“I am happy to say that I saw in the Southwest and Northwest Regions a high level of responsibility and patriotism of the stakeholders. These exams of the GCE Board are going on well in these two Regions and I hope that they will end as well as they started.”

The Minister of Secondary Education, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe made this observation on Thursday June 15 in Buea after a tour in the two Anglophone Regions during which he evaluated the conduct of the 2016/2017 General Certificate of Examination, GCE.

The Minister visited some accommodation centres in Manyu, Meme and Fako Divisions viz; Government High School, GHS, Mamfe, Government Technical High School, GTHS, Mamfe and Government Teachers Training College, GTTC, Mamfe where he encouraged candidates and officials in charge of the examinations to continue doing what they are doing with unrelenting commitment.

Ngalle Bibehe, said he was out to ensure that the various end of course examinations that is; GCE General and Technical, BAC Technique and Grade One Certificate Examinations go on well and effectively in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.  He said he was satisfied with the organization in place, the mobilization and enthusiasm of students. “I appreciate the efforts of stakeholders and the forces of law and order here in the Southwest Region. They are really important,” he remarked.

At the Government Bilingual Teacher Training College, GBTTC Kumba where student-teachers were taking their Teacher Grade One Certificate Examination, and at CCAS Kumba – the largest accommodation centre for Ordinary and Advanced Level General Education subjects in Meme, the Minister expressed satisfaction saying he was contented with the serene atmosphere that reigned.

However, the Secondary Education head did not also fail to take note of some complaints submitted to him at various campuses. At GTTC Buea, the Principal showed him a classroom which had been almost set on fire by some unknown arsonists. The Minister saw in the dastardly action a signal, a necessity for a perimeter fence to be built round the campus.

The Principal also brought to the notice of the Minister the invasion of school land by probably the Buea Council.  Surprisingly, the Governor scolded the Principal, reminding him that it was within the competence of the local administration to handle land encroachment issues and not the Minister. However, somewhere along the line, the visiting Minister inadvertently still stopped over at where the council was allegedly encroaching and had some aggrieved interest whisper into his ear. The Rambler learnt that the council was encroaching into the land, excavating with a view to building such rental stalls as now litter the Buea municipal landscape.

After visiting GTHS Buea and establishing that there was tranquility, Minister Bibehe ended his tour with a visit to the Cameroon GCE Board Office.

The probability is high that the GCE currently being written would come to a successful term, free of major incident in the two Anglophone Regions hence, the fulfillment of Minister’s wish. However, a looming big worry besides the confusion that preceded this year’s GCE Examination is; what is likely  to happen to students who ought to have sat for promotion examinations but didn’t. This is disturbing issue staring not only school principals, but also Parent Teachers Associations, PTA’s and by extension, the Government.

Car in minister’s convoy kills kid

While on the tour, an unfortunate incident occurred whereby one of the cars in the Minister’s convoy, CA 0957 D knocked down an eight-year old girl whose name The Rambler got as Beckly Anto Tiguh,  at Mabonji, one of the villages along the Muyuka-Kumba stretch of road.

The little girl, who was hurriedly rushed to the Kumba District Hospital for medical attention unfortunately, gave up the ghost on arrival.

It was not established whether it was the driver or the child who was at fault, even though going by a bystander’s account, the car was being driven at break-neck speed.

Family members claim that she was knocked down on the pedestrian path, contrary to claims that she was distracted by a handset which she was manipulating at the time of the accident. Probably out of fright, the driver who hit the child did not immediately signal others until the convoy arrived Barombi Kang, the first village into Kumba and the Minister was being welcomed to Kumba by excited CPDM party adherents. At GBPS Kumba-Mbeng she got the news that the child had died and immediately, she re-directed part of her convoy to the Kumba Districts Hospital to console with the deceased family.

The Minister’s trip was thus stopped impromptu. She and the entire entourage expressed sincere regrets and immediately condoled with the family at the Meme Senior Divisional Office after visiting the hospital. The Basic Education Boss could not continue her tour to other schools in Meme as preplanned, given that she was devastated by the incident and so left for Bamenda through Mamfe after the routine condolences.

‘Prowling ghosts’ fail to hinder FSLC exams

By Nester Asonganyi

Thousands of candidates have successfully written the 2017 edition of the First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, and the Certificat d’Etude Premiere, CEP, examinations in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, as per the original schedule, in spite of earlier fears that lingering ghost towns from generalized civil disobedience by Anglophones was going to heavily impact the exercise.

Although Basic Education authorities acknowledged many recorded absences, the Government has ostensibly succeeded in proving a point, as weird as it may be; one can write an examination and score above average without effective preparation, as opposed to conventional wisdom that prescribes proper preparation before any important or serious examination or test.

The Minister of Basic Education, Yousouf Hadidja Alim was in the Southwest and Northwest Regions for the two days which the examinations were written, that is, Tuesday June 13, and Wednesday June 14, respectively. She was out to personally ensure that the examination went on well in this part of the country.

She chose to spend time in the ‘troubled Regions since there was uncertainty as to the success and effectiveness of the exams.

In the Southwest Region, the Minister visited some five accommodation Centres in Fako and Meme Divisions before proceeding to the Northwest Region where she carried out a similar exercise.

Apart from invigilators, pupils and security operatives, parents were also present in their numbers, at various centres, patiently waiting for their children from start to finish of the session.

According to one of the parents, Eposi Rose, she came there to ensure the safety of her daughter. “I accompanied my child here because I wanted to be sure nothing funny happens to her. I do not trust the security provided by Government following what has been happening to other children,” she said.

Primary school pupils writing FSLC exams

At Government School, GS, Likoko Membea, there were eight invigilators, two secretaries and a chief of centre. 224 candidates were present while 30 were absent. At Ecole Public Francophone Buea, 103 registered, seven were absent and at Government Bilingual Primary and Nursery School, GBPNS, Muea, 198 candidates out of 260 who registered showed up for the exams.

Government Primary School, GPS Group I Muyuka, had 215 candidates present and 118 absent, while Group IV had 58 candidates sitting for the exams as opposed to 31 who did not show up. Of the 360 registered at GS Banga-Bakundu, 121 reported present and at GBPS Kumba-Mbeng, 181 came while 44 stayed away.

After expressing satisfaction at what she saw, Minister Hadidja Alim commended parents who have braved the threats and fears to bring their children to the various examination centres. She told them to continue with what she termed ‘the good works’.

The Minister however, frowned at some poor infrastructure, especially at GS Banga-Bakundu where the campus looked deserted and the buildings dilapidated. She instructed the administration of the area to do something about providing a more comfortable learning environment for the children.

Although a greater percentage of the FSLC candidates wrote the exams, a considerable number of pupils also stayed away or better still, boycotted the exercise. The Rambler sought to know why the parents of these kids and the kids themselves decided not to take their end of year examination.

According to a parent whose child did not write, there was no need for the ward writing an examination he did not prepare for. “Examination is testing what you have acquired, but the children did not as much as learn anything this academic year. What the Government has done is illogical,” he noted.

“I did not write because I did not go to school this year. My parents said if I take such examinations and move to the next class, it might destabilize my educational foundation,” little Dionne Janet of Government School Wokoko, Bonduma stated.

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