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Decentralising the University of Bamenda: On-going debate.

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Universities are ’bridges’ to global economy knowledge and could serve to sustain local communities. Before and after the creation of University of Bamenda, politicians and Fons from North West Region (Northern Zone of Southern Cameroons) have been on each others throat whether the University of Bamenda campuses should be decentralised across the region. Politicians who favour the decentralisation policy of the University of Bamenda say so due to the complex nature of the economic and social effects such a policy will bring across the region. They argue that public actors have to formulate objectives not only concerning the quality of science and education, but also concerning the role of the university in local and regional economic as well as social development. The below-mentioned faculties and or schools are created in the decree creating the University of Bamenda. Some are operational while others will go operational as the resources become available. Some politician such as Dr Nfor N Susungi has proposed the following composition:
1. Faculty of Arts and Architecture: Bafut Campus
2. Faculty of Medicine: Nkambe Campus
3. Faculty of Law: Batibo Campus.
4. Faculty of Education: Wum Campus.
5. Faculty of Arts and Science: Mbengwi Campus.
6. Faculty of Social Science: Fundong Campus.
7. Faculty of Engineering: Kumbo Campus.
8. Faculty of Agriculture: Ndop Campus.
9. Faculty of Theology: Bali Campus.
10. Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication :Ndu Campus
11. Faculty of Health and Human Sciences: Kumbo Campus.
The main administrative campus will remain in Bamenda coordinated by the Vice-Chancellor. The Faculties would be coordinated by deans resident at the respective areas within the region. The policy supporters argue that such a decentralisation policy will move smoothly as those areas have large human and natural resources capable of transforming such campuses into the bedrock of Cameroon’s emerging economy by 2035.
BaretaNews supports the decentralisation of the Bamenda University because such a policy will cause an expansion and/or enhances regional productivity. The average productivity in those areas will be higher and there would be more economic gains in each of those areas. It will lead to an industrialised and economic boom in the North West region. The people from the North West Region are naturally hard working people, the true potentials of the people and their region will blossom.
However, this can only be possible if all areas within the campuses are linked by good roads to enhance students and staff mobilities. The decentralisation might be both costly in terms of human and economic terms as some courses might be jointly offered by students from different faculties taught by same lecturers.
In this case, the University would be forced to offer the same course to two different lecturers as it becomes impossible for students to move from say Kumbo to Mankon to take just a course. However, this can only be possible if all areas within the campuses are linked with good roads to enhance students and staff mobilities. However, with the advent of technology, in this case, there might be video link technology to sort this out. Again, with the rate of poverty, would students be able to cope with the means to engage in video technology lectures? Would the University be able to provide such technologies? What about the manpower i.e the lecturers to flood these different areas? Would they be ready to reside in these remote areas while the areas take their speedy economic developments? Is the government having such resources to decentralised the University of Bamenda?
What have you?
God is still saying something.

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