“Bilingualism is our jewel, the height of our achievement as a Nation”, Prof Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education
The main Conference Hall of the Yaounde Conference Centre was the place to be on Friday, 5 February 2021, to witness students showcase the mastery of both English and French languages. This was during the closing ceremony of the 16th Edition of the National Week of Bilingualism, chaired by Professor Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education, in the company of Bayaola Boniface, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Secondary Education in charge of Teachers’ Training, and Naseri Paul Béa, Governor of the Centre Region, in addition to other top officials of the Ministry of Secondary Education.
Students came out in their numbers from schools in Yaounde as well as from other Regions to show proof of their love and commitment to the English and French official Bilingualism. Through songs, poems and plays, they demonstrated their effective mastery of both English and French, seamlessly switching between the two languages.
Following a hectic week of activities launched on 1 February 2021 in Bangangté under the theme “Bilingualism: a tool for a resilient, inclusive and qualitative education”, the closing ceremony of the 16th Edition of the National Week of Bilingualism was an occasion to assess the progress made in terms of promoting official Bilingualism in Cameroon with regard to the linguistic and cultural aspects peculiar to the country.
The Minister commended the Head of State, H.E. Paul Biya for making bilingualism available to Cameroon. She called on teachers, students and the entire education community to take full ownership of effective bilingualism beyond slogans, good will statements and ethnic divides, so as to ensure the competitiveness of the country’s school system, and enable Cameroon live up to the reputation earned worldwide thanks to English and French official Bilingualism.
As an incentive to furthering the establishment of English and French official Bilingualism, sets of prizes were awarded to schools in the four categories, following contests held throughout the national territory. These include the Prize for the Best School Magazine awarded to Lycée Classique et Moderne Ebolowa (South Region), the Prize for the Best Play earned by Government Secondary School Bwiyuku Buea (South-West Region), while the Prize for the Best Debate and that for the Best Poem went respectively to Lycée Ngousso Ngoulememakong, Yaounde (Centre Region) and to Ngoue Nadège, a Junior Parliamentarian from Edea (Littoral Region).
In her closing remarks, Prof. Nalova Lyonga reminded the audience that “the building of bilingualism is the mission of us all”, because it “[bilingualism] is our jewel, the height of our achievement as a Nation”.
Aimé Ngidjol, Senior Staff/CELCOM