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NGO Wants 100 ENS Maroua Dismissed Students Re-Admitted 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai — A Yaounde-based NGO, the Foundation for Human Rights and Development, FHRD, has called for the re-instatement of some 100 students summarily dismissed from the Higher Teacher’s Training College, ENS Maroua.

FHRD made the call in a memo dated September 10 and addressed to the Rector of the University of Maroua, Prof. Edward Ako, titled: “Petition to intervene and reinstate about 100 students summarily dismissed from ENS Maroua.” Signed by the President of FHRD, Afanyi Ngeh, copies of the memo were also sent to the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Higher Education, the Diplomatic Community and the press.

The FHRD memo notes that between September 3 and 8, they received close to 100 students summarily dismissed from ENS Maroua. It states that it was observed that the dismissed students violated a ministerial circular announcing the 2009 and 2010 sessions of entrance examination into ENS Maroua.

For example, 26 second-year students were dismissed from English Modern Letters (LMA) for having registered the examination with a pass in four GCE Ordinary Level papers including Religious Knowledge. Others were reportedly dismissed because they went in for the exam with a pass in two GCE Advanced Level subjects including Religious Knowledge.

Afanyi told the Rector that conscious of the problem of Religious Knowledge, some of the students went in for the GCE again and increased their number of passed papers before sitting for the entrance examination. The candidates are said to have attached such pass slips to their application files when they sat for the exams, during orals and after being declared successful.

While some third-year students of that institution were equally dismissed for similar reasons, the FHRD memo notes that others of the bilingual series in year three were sent away for not having the required qualification. Some fifth-year students, still of the bilingual series, were also dismissed for having not done French/English (Literature) at the Advanced Level.

The human rights NGO argues that the application files of the dismissed students were duly received and controlled by a competent commission created by the Rector and Director of ENS Maroua. After sitting for the examination, according to FHRD, scripts of the expelled students were marked and they were declared successful. They went in for the orals and were definitely declared admitted by the competent juries with the Minister of Higher Education endorsing the lists.

The President of the FHRD said it is a big surprise that despite the number of years put in by the students to pursue their training, the University of Maroua and ENS authorities could not see anything wrong with the dismissed students.

“It is inadmissible that after allowing these students in question to be trained at the expense of the tax payer coupled with material, financial and psychological/moral sacrifices of parents…they should be summarily dismissed for a mistake that is clearly not theirs. We also learned that the list of dismissed students has not been made public through the routine communication channels of the university,” Afanyi states.

The five-page memo notes that some lecturers of the LMA Department who spoke to the FHRD admitted that students have been dismissed but that they have nothing to do about it. The Director of ENS Maroua is also quoted to have declared that he has nothing to do with the dismissal of the students while referring the FHRD to the Rector who is reportedly out of the country.

After a number of analysis, the FHRD affirmed “that the plight of the dismissed students is a sign of criminal negligence, incompetence and irresponsibility on the part of the authorities of the University and ENS Maroua…They cannot in anyway unilaterally shift the burden of responsibility unto the students exclusively.

If the students should be sanctioned for violating the ministerial text that convened the examination, then, the minister’s representatives that were supposed by law, to ensure the smooth and transparent conduct of the examination and the training thereafter, deserve an even greater sanction!

It is time to confront impunity and gross irresponsibility in all aspects of Cameroon’s public and private services,” the FHRD President holds. The memo further questions the Rector for dismissing students doing bilingual series because they sat for an examination two years ago with degrees that do not conform to the text such as linguistics.

The FHRD reminded the Rector that the Head of Department for Bilingual series recruited under his (Rector’s) tenure holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Linguistics with formal training in bilingual letters. Why the double standards? Sir, have you forgotten that “he who goes for equity must go with clean hands!” Are you going to dismiss the Head of the Bilingual Department who is holder of B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics? FHRD questions amongst other observations and recommendations.

First published in The Post print edition no 01377

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