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Teachers Threaten To Boycott FSLC Examination 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

The Association of Basic Education Teachers, an umbrella grouping teachers of the ten Regions, have threatened to boycott the invigilation and marking of the 2010 session of the First School Leaving Certificate, FSLC, examination over what they consider as discrimination in allocation of dues. The association is contemplating the move in protest to a recent decision signed by the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, doubling dues for the invigilation and marking of some end-of-course examinations.

The Prime Minister’s text No. 10/2010/1546 of May 25, 2010 revises decree No. 79/187 of May 17, 1979 bordering on the invigilation and marking dues for examinations organised by the then Ministry of National Education. Speaking on behalf of the association shortly after a crisis meeting, Daniel Ngong Wango, said the decree revising the dues has failed to recognise that the ministry has been broken up into two. Describing such a decree as obnoxious, Wango said the teachers were embarrassed that examinations organised by the Ministry of Basic Education have been sidelined.

Highlighting how discriminatory the revised decree is, Wango explained that while teachers of the Anglophone sub-system marking the Common Entrance Examination are being paid FCFA 30 per script, their colleagues of the Francophone sub-system would be paid FCFA 60 per script for the same examination. He said this situation also holds as far as the invigilation and marking of the FSLC examination is concerned.

Expressing surprise that officials of the Ministry of Basic Education have not reacted to such a discriminatory text, Wango said they are certain that Yang was misled. "If this text is not rectified urgently to make sure that teachers of both sub-systems of education enjoy the increase in the invigilation and marking dues, then we are going to boycott the 2010 session of the FSLC examination," Wango said.

Adding that as teachers, they would expect that subsequent examinations organised by the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education be given a plain ground, Wango said many things have changed between 1979 and 2010. "The conditions for the organisation of examinations in 1979 are not similar and cannot, therefore, be equated with what is prevailing in 2010," he stated.

He said the 1979 decree embodied examinations such as the Common Entrance, FSLC, tests into teacher training colleges, adding that the May 25, 2010 revised text has simply sidelined examinations organised by the Ministry of Basic Education. Urging his colleagues to exercise restraint and give room for a rectification of the text within the days ahead, Wango said they are determined to mobilize thousands of teachers for a protest march to the Prime Minister’s office to table their plight.

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