2019-2020 SCHOOL REOPENING
MESSAGE OF THE MINISTRY OF SECONDARY EDUCATION
TO THE EDUCATION COMMUNITY
Ladies and gentlemen,
On the eve of the new academic year, it should dawn on everyone that we face the most turbulent year in education since we constructed our national bilingual state. Turbulences in the English-speaking zones have caused a three-year school boycott in Cameroon despite the children’s indomitable quest for knowledge. This quest has resulted in over 18 thousand students abandoning their home-based schools for other schools in the safe French-speaking territory which is referred to as the so-called ‘enemy’ territory. This is a fact which is also using a general interest in creating and opening bilingual colleges in the rest of Cameroon.Ironically, the Francophone zones have become the sanctuaries for Anglophone. This is a war that has turned on its head to produce the greatest irony in the history of our nation so far.
This crisis is regrettable, but we shall not relent in keeping the educational standards. Schooling is a forward-looking venture and the majority calls for our loyalty to norms. What sins have our children committed to draw this scourge upon them? Does love have a chance?Having spent these many years fighting, let’s all go back home and to school because, in fact, a mutually agreed anticipated dialogue among patriotsno longer deserves spilling a drop of blood.
Indeed, the 2018-2019 school year which focused on ‘Clean School as a pathway to enhance national integration’ was satisfactory from a general point of view, except for the very unfortunate situation described above. A number of factors can justify this overall positive appraisal. The grounds for satisfaction include the following:
- respecting the breakdown of the school year,
- significant coverage rate of programmes,
- smooth running of the 2019 official examinations,
- carrying out the main actions planned in the roadmap of the Ministry of Secondary Education;
- Improving the provision of education in technical education by creating new schools and transforming some traditional schools into bilingual schools;
- constructing and rehabilitating classrooms, workshops and administrative buildings;
- acquiring didactic materials and micro-science equipment;
- speeding up the processing of files relating to the creation, extension and opening of private schools in order to fight against illegal schools;
- awarding State grants to schools and private organisations and
- digitalizing the fee-payment process.
Dear members of the education community,
The digitalisation of the payment of tuition and examination fees was the most significant innovation of the 2018-2019 academic year. Admittedly, this change of course had some shortcomings as would be normally expected with a pioneering enterprise. However, it should be noted that our objectives were largely achieved, namely, to ensure that the fees collected are accountable and traceable, that theactual student population per institution is known and that the respective authorities direct their expenditures only towards meeting key schooldevelopment needs.
Moreover, the 2019 official examination session, which was smoothly conducted, demonstrated the growing credibility of our evaluation system over the years.The success rate recorded confirms this observation. Therefore, I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate all those who, through their great sense of duty and patriotism, effectively contributed to the remarkable success of this examination session.
In the same vein, I cannot overlook thebrilliant contribution of private education to the training of young Cameroonians.I would also like to thank and encourage promoters of this level of education.
Dear members of the education community,
The 2019-2020 academic year is opening on a positive outlook. For example, on special authorisation of the Head of State, fees collected by our various Mobile Money partners (CAMPOST, EXPRESS UNION, MTN and UBA) will henceforth be deposited in Afriland First Bank. This will enable schools to receive their payments virtually on time.
With regard to our sovereign mission, it is imperative to recall that our Ministry must continue, throughout this academic year, with the efforts that have already been undertaken in our sub-sector by translating into concrete actions governmentpolicy in terms of administration, infrastructure,and human and financial resource management.In this regard, our actions will focus on:
- the continuation of curriculum reform,
- the intensification of the implementation of the “Clean School” concept, especially by fighting against violence and drug use in schools,
- the intensification of in-service training of trainers,
- the popularisation of electronic, technological and digital processes of school management and security,
- the strengthening of quality technical and agricultureeducation,
- the securing of school sites.
To this end, we shall focus on creating conditions for a full development of learners in three domains: physical, moral and intellectual enshrined in the Clean School concept. Clean School is both a concept and a philosophy. That is why we say that the Clean School concept bequeaths success and a great professional outlook. The key word is CLEAN.
Dear teachers, I urge you continue to be professional, intellectually honest,humble, open-minded andmorally ingenious in carrying out your noble and inspiring duties. In other words,be role models to your students.The nation looks up to you to achieve its goal for national construction, living together and development. It is our hope that by injecting courses such as“Practicals in History: A Study of Heritage and Diversity in Cameroon”and “Science in Practice: the Home Biogas,”we get to make studies more practical and less abstract;protect our environment and manage waste; we get to appreciate becoming Cameroonian and readythe students for theskilled mind-set of an ombudsperson.
Remember, Teachers, that we were the instigators of the current turmoil. In the midst of all this trouble, a teacher lamented that ‘we started our thing and they came and hijacked it.’ Who hijacked it, I asked? They have hijacked because the Teacher, whom we are, has lost clear vision and leadership. Like the pussy cat, we were present when it all started but vamoosed when the pressure mounted. What have we done to stop it? Let me give you the phenomenon about the sole and the soul.These two walk hand in hand, you don’t see one without the other. Thesoul directs the body where it wants to reach but it can’t reach where it wishes unless the sole takes it there and vice-versa. The sole cannot grow tall upwards nor can the soul grow downwards. They are twin tools who reach everywhere at the same time except that the sole can die and leave the soul, but if the latter falls to the ground and dies, then the story dies. Teachers cannot be exchanged for soles. Craft and shape the story like a thinker.
Always bear in mind,dear students,that you are the first actors of your training. Refrain from all that can distract you from your studies such as drug consumption and other narcotics. Avoid killing two birds with one stone but look for ways of studying efficiently such as the ‘10 Minute School’ by which you grasp the essential elements of a one hour lecture within a short time! Be hard-working and more serious, that is the key to success.
Dear parents, your collaboration with the school authorities is needed today more so than ever. Do invest in the follow-up and effective supervision of your childrento cast out the myriad guardian angels who take students away from their academic trajectories, whether it be drugs or sex, money or war.As from this year, take an interest in finding out which electronic system isbeing used to monitor attendance in school, either IRIS system or the MTN Academy, which will help us track students’ movements.This is a year to learn a lot. Transform your organisations (PTA/APEE) into frameworks of reflection and support to the education system. It is essential for us to be one step ahead of the e-savvy children of this century. All parents will also learn how to get into our partners’ platform to confirm your payments. Be your own police.
Dear partners, I hereby call upon you, each in his/her sphere of competence to fully play your roles in the training of learners. At the same time, I urge the promoters of clandestine private schools to abide by the rules and regulations in force.
Dear members of the education community,
Throughout the upcoming academic year,each of us will have to make a valuable contribution to the development of relevant, effective and efficient education. Indeed, only a synergy of our actions can lead us to success.
Taking all this into consideration, I have decided to place the 2019-2020 academic year under the theme under“The Clean School philosophy is the motor to successful studies and a reinforced professional outlook”. The philosophy of the clean school, its holistic concept is developed for all interested in the next copy of Le Secondaire.
This theme comes in response to MINESEC’s concern to fully play its role as a powerful driving force in the development process of our country, Cameroon, in accordance with the vision of His Excellency Paul Biya, President of the Republic, who constantly reminds us of the strategic importance of knowledge in the fight against poverty.
I wish you all a very successful 2019-2020 academic year!
Long live the Ministry of Secondary Education,
Long live Cameroon and its illustrious Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya.