CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE 19th EDITION OF THE NATIONAL WEEK OF BILINGUALISM
Official Bilingualism is the Core of the Cameroon’s Identity
To Cameroonians, official bilingualism is a building force, a unifying factor, a means of promoting civic and moral virtues.
These are some key statements made by students at the closing ceremony of the 19th Edition of the National Week of Bilingualism chaired by Professor Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education, on 6 February 2024 at the Conference Centre in Yaounde. Dr Asheri Kilo, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Basic Education, Boniface Bayaola, the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Secondary Education in charge of Teachers’ Training and the Secretary-General of the Centre Region, personal representative of Naseri Paul Bea, Governor of the Centre Region, graced the event with their presence.
Organised under the theme, “Bilingualism: vector of digitalization of education and the promotion of civic and moral values for a peaceful and emergent Cameroon”, the 19th Edition of the National Week of Bilingualism, as in previous editions, lived up to the expectations of the Government of Cameroon.
In a series of intellectual and recreational activities including, the debate for and against the theme of this edition, poems and sketches magnifying English and French official bilingualism, students from various schools in Yaounde and all over Cameroon, showcased a seamless mastery of English and French languages while emphasizing the role of digitalization in sowing the seeds of prosperity for a peaceful and emergent Cameroon.
This earned them not only rounds of applauses from the audience, but also prizes from the minister as a way of encouragement to keep up with this trend. As such, a special prize, made up of books and a comfortable amount of money, was granted to five schools for the Magazine production, with Government High School Bafoussam topping the chart.
In a protocol-free talk, the Minister of Secondary Education commended both the students and teachers for the time that they took to prepare for the various activities performed during the ceremony to demonstrate their mastery of both English and French languages.
Professor Nalova Lyonga reiterated the equal status of English and French as the two official languages of Cameroon and invited parents to send their children to do the Special Bilingual Education Programme which will open them up to limitless opportunities worldwide. The minister equally urged education officials to inform the entire education community, and mostly parents, of the options available in secondary schools as far as the promotion of bilingualism is concerned in Cameroon.
Secondary Education boss tasked the Inspectorate of Pedagogy in charge of the Teaching and Promotion of Bilingualism in the Ministry of Secondary Education to see into the training of trainers so that students should have models in the proper and accurate use of both English and French, and ultimately become specialists in these two official languages.
In this regard, Professor Nalova Lyonga sent a strong message to teachers, instructing them to commit to their job and hold the profession up and train first-class human resources that will be admired and sought for around the world and preserve Cameroon’s unique identity at the global stage.
By Aimé Ngidjol