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Following SWECC’s Criticism, UB Adjusts Discriminatory Admission Rules 

By Andrew Nsoseka

Professor Ngomo Horace Manga

The University of Buea, UB, has seemingly heeded to calls after coming under scathing criticism from Southwest Chiefs Conference, SWECC, executive, for being discriminatory against students of the English Speaking expression in Cameroon.

In a recent announcement concerning admissions into the University, the school authorities have reversed their decisions on admission of Anglophones as it is stated that: “Candidates who do not have a pass in English Language at GCE O/L are encouraged to apply, however, they will be expected to sit and pass an English Proficiency Test which will be organised by the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, at a cost. Candidates who passed in four papers only at the GCE O/L are also encouraged to apply,” the release reads in part.

On July 17, a meeting of SWECC executives, chaired by Senator Nfon V E Mukete, in Buea, lamented, among other things, what they described as anti-Anglophone admissions rules into UB.

The issue of entry requirements into UB, especially the clause prescribing GCE Ordinary Level English as basic criteria for Anglophones, and an English placement test for Francophone students, was what irked the Chiefs who frowned at the fact that Anglophone students who have spent their entire educational life learning and writing in English are denied entry, while Francophone students who can barely speak and write English, take a few weeks to study and take an English test and are admitted.
According to the Chiefs, the entry rules into the University of Buea were coined in a way to discriminate against Anglophone students.

The Chiefs observed with disdain that it was unfair that, while Anglophones who have studied, written exams, and passed using the English language are denied admission into UB, with the logic being their English deficiency, then, Francophones who can barely express themselves in English are admitted in the same University.

The Chiefs also fumed that while the entry requirements grill Anglophone students and send them away because they failed the GCE Ordinary Level exam, the very administration allows lecturers who can barely speak the English language to lecture the students, and sometimes do so in French or something that sounds like English.

The Chiefs had opined that the laws prescribing English language as a requirement for Anglophone students should be repealed.

After discussing the issue, the Chiefs suggested that in order to be fair to all, the administration should make sure that the English Language classes and test taken by the Francophone students should also be taken by Anglophones who failed the English Language examination at the GCE Ordinary Level and want to study in the University of Buea.

The recent changes, from all indications, are as a result of the Chiefs’ remarks and expressed determination to end the aged-old admission obnoxious rules.

The University of Buea is an Anglo-Saxon University in the Southwest Regional headquarters of Buea. The University was founded as a University Centre in 1985, and in 1993, it became a full Anglo-Saxon University, following the University reforms that were carried out in Cameroon at the time.