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Certificate Oriented Training Cannot Bring Emergence To Cameroon – Rev. Fr George Nkeze 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

The President of the Catholic University Institute of Buea, CUIB, Rev. Fr. George Nkeze, has stated that Cameroon is likely not to achieve the vision 2035 of emergence if the country’s higher education continues to train mere certificate holders.

He made the statement in Yaounde on August 19 in a keynote address captioned: “Business Ethics and Spirituality,” during a CUIB meeting with the corporate world. The event, that took place at Djeuga Palace Hotel, brought together top personalities of the corporate world in Yaounde.

After briefly defining the concept of business, Rev. Fr. Nkeze said ethics is simply “what we ought to and what we ought not to do as human beings”, adding that business ethics is, therefore, the manner of conduct of affairs by leaders.

He remarked that spirituality is not about religion but a concept which reminds us that there is something beyond, that relates us to seek for peace, justice, harmony thus adding meaning and purpose to our lives.

Nkeze said the greatest misconception in the world has been that of referring to people as the greatest assets of organisations. He asserted that many organisations across the world have collapsed because of the wrong things the wrong people at the helm do.

He attributed such failures to lack of spirituality, quoting Jim Collins, a writer, who says; “The right people in the right places are the most valuable assets of a company,” maintaining that institutions are great because of the character of the people involved.

Describing the gap in Cameroon’s education system today as wide, the President of the CUIB said there is perpetual search for certificates, and all kinds of certificates abound.

“The certificate-oriented system is a recipe for disaster; vision 2035 will not be achieved by certificates. Certificates without skills, proper mindset (spirituality) and conduct (character) will not produce greatness,” Fr. Nkeze stated.

According to him; “Cameroon needs a paradigm shift in its educational set up, particularly at the university level.”

He said the document articulated by the Ministry of Higher Education on the professionalisation of Higher Education in Cameroon is phenomenal and the country, therefore, needs to go beyond training that is aimed at simply acquiring the public service matricule number.

Rev. Fr. Nkeze told the corporate stakeholders that CUIB has an attractive educational system whereby the learner’s passion is its priority. He said they have taken the challenge to train a new breed of Cameroonians at the university level with focus on producing disciplined students with disciplined thoughts and actions.

For him, students are supposed to be self motivated to learn, self disciplined, as such, ensure the proper management of the structures at their disposal. Nkeze said these are the qualities CUIB has chosen to instil in their students, inviting the public to join them in the challenging journey.

Earlier on, Roland Kwemain, a Board Member of the CUIB who moderated deliberations at the event, described CUIB as an entrepreneurial university with the challenges of training successful leaders who could move the development of the country ahead.

He said such leaders must be well grounded in ethics, reason why hard work, prayer and spirituality are key elements of their training programmes. He added that CUIB is a bilingual institution based on the Afro-American Anglo-Saxon system.

He said this explains why many of their students travel on bursaries across the world as part of their entrepreneurial trainings.

Rev. Fr. François Xavier also presented ‘CUIB Points of Pride’ as well as the various schools and colleges that make up the university. They include; the Schools of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Business; Engineering; Information Technology and the College of Business and Technology. The University also offers a series of non-degree and certification programmes.

Meanwhile, some four students with entrepreneurial initiatives also presented their experiences and how they are prospering, to the amazement of the audience. The CUIB admits students, irrespective of their nationality, religion, sex, race and language.