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Anglophones Call For Creation Of Educational Councils 

By Jean Marie Ngong Song

Five Anglophone educational pressure groups have launched fresh calls for Government to create separate educational councils to better manage education issues from primary to university level.
The pressure groups made the call on February 25, 2016 in Bamenda after a three-day workshop organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

The Association of Retired Educationists, ARED, Teachers Association of Cameroon, TAC, People Earthwise, Cameroon Educational Forum and the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union, CATTU, called on the Government to create two separate educational councils where reflections will be done in either council for that system of education without interference from the other.
The groups say this would help to stop the current situation wherein reflections are done in French and just translated wrongly in English.

In a strongly worded statement, CATTU Secretary General, Wilfred Tassang Nfor, on behalf of the five associations, noted that they are into nation building hence; they have been constantly proposing an alternative solution to the way things should be done in, Cameroon especially in providing quality education to young Cameroonians.

“We are not in opposition to the system, the Government is us when it succeeds or fails, and it is incumbent on us to irk our heads and our hearts to be able to give Government the best way of doing things. Over the years, the Francophone system of education has been playing down on us, the minority.

The unions and the Cameroon Education Forum have arrived at the following solutions to our education; that two separate systems of education be created with none superior to the other; develop and empower the educational system to excellence, produce an innovative and patriotic citizenry.

“It will have as mission to enhance, create and enable the provision and monitoring of quality education in pre-primary, primary, secondary, professional and teacher education through the elaboration of quality curricular provision of adaptable infrastructure and material encouragement of scholarship and personnel development,” said Tassang.

He said there are several ministries of education in Cameroon with each going its own way, generating chaos with curriculum revised and developed in Basic Education without any consideration to what is done in secondary and tertiary education.

Tassang said there is, therefore, the need for a super structure like the educational councils that will bring all these levels of education together to come up with a curriculum for Cameroon that connects all stages of education, and how the product unveils itself in tertiary education.

Quizzed on whether the proposal to Government will not just be another correspondence that will end with threats and silence, Valentine Tameh of TAC said whatever discussions they engage into, they are debating on nation building.

“We think that we have written to Government without any response and we threaten to go out to the streets but still fall back to the table for discussions, it is because we have a vision to develop the country. We believe now that with five associations coming together, our voice will be heavier, “said Tameh.
One of the major resource persons at the workshop, Lucas Tassing Ntang, Vice Chair of the Education Forum, said his contribution in the workshop was to give the necessary knowledge and introspection of the kind of education that existed comparable to that which obtains today.

“To do advocacy, lobby and to challenge, you need knowledge. I gave them an overview of the type of education we had up to today and a simple description of the whole thing reveals that we have done a lot of work without vision, in make-believe statements, in a system that is politically too heavy, where the centre is too heavy and when the system is too strong, the leadership becomes overwhelmed.

We are bound to have this shameful disintegration in our country today. We are into hodge-podge, in a mish-mash and only the institutionalisation of the educational council can play the trick,” Tassing Ntang said.
CATTU believes that to overcome the pit falls in the struggle, the spirit of a call for the GCE Board in the 1990s can be invoked and they will present their proposals to all stakeholders and the President of Cameroon.

According to the pressure associations, the Education Council will check duplicity in education, transfer issues, accommodation and electricity difficulties that scare teachers away from rural areas, by providing fuel allowances from the educational tax that will be introduced alongside the council.

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