Anglophone System of Education is Good Enough: No to Academic Assimilation
In December 6th 2016, teachers of the University of Bamenda (UBa) led by Professor Doh Gaius tendered a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office in Yaounde. The aim was to express their grievances related to the gross levels of inequality between the Anglophones and Francophones registered into the Higher Technical Teachers Training College (ENSET) and Higher Teachers Training College (ENS) in Bambili-Bamenda especially in the Department of Sciences.
Following the memorandum, Anglophones bitterly complained of the lack of Science teachers in their educational subsystem which includes Technical and Secondary Schools. Meanwhile, there are possibilities for these teachers to be trained at ENS and ENSET Bambili and Kumba. They noted that recruitment into these institutions have been occupied by Francophones as against their Anglophone counterparts. This has been a major teacher’s grievance following the outbreak of the Anglophone Teachers strike in November 2016 which eventually culminated into the ongoing stalemate in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon.
The case of Dr Nguendjio was cited. He has been director of studies at ENS Bambili for several years while the son oversees computer operations where Admission marks are traded. Per the teachers, this is nepotism of the highest order, where the notion of “man knows man” is practised. Cases from 2014 until 2016 academic year were cited. For instance, in the department of Physics in 2015/2016, Northwest Region had just eleven teachers recruited, Southwest Region had one, meanwhile, the West Region had eighty-seven recruits. The memorandum stated clearly that this is not regional balance, adding that the government administration claims to establish as part of its national integration policy.
Ironically, the memo stated that French teachers claim to know a lot about the Anglo-Saxon educational system whereas they don’t have a mastery of the language thought less of teaching students. Also, it should be noted that at the University of Buea (UB), similar situations are pervasive. If a teacher does not have a good mastery of the English language, how then will the teacher instil knowledge to the students to understand? These cases reveal a gradual assimilation of the Anglo-Saxon system of education.
Thus, the memo called on Prime Minister who is the Head of Government in Cameroon to consider the situation and to verify the facts presented. It has been several months since the memorandum was issued yet the Prime Minister seems to pose an indifferent attitude by trying to impose on the people what to do without providing appropriate measures to solve their grievances.
As of the time of writing, Anglophone teachers are bent on sustaining the Anglo-Saxon system of education. Schools across the Northwest and Southwest Regions remain shut down. Severally, the Prime Minister Philemon Yang has made unsuccessful peace tours in the Southern Cameroons because he keeps insisting on the government’s way and not the people’s way.