Education Live Update

Ndu Sub-Division: Fleeing civil servants ordered to resume work

The Sub-Divisional Officer of Ndu Sub-Division in Donga Mantung Division in the North West Region of Cameroon, has called on all civil servants who have deserted their duty posts in the sub-division to resume work immediately.

In a release signed on the 13th of September 2020, Adamu Shuaibu Ibrahim says 30th September 2020 is the deadline for all to resume work.

Following the massacre of people in Ngarbuh in Ntumbaw village on the 14th of February 2020 in the sub-division, civil servants and other inhabitants of the sub-division have taken refuge in other towns and villages in Cameroon.

Following calls from the D.O for civil servants to return, a secondary school teacher posted in government secondary school Ndu says the call is not backed by effort from the government to maintain security. Speaking to Mimi Mefo Info anonymously, the teacher says:

” Going to Ndu at this time can be compared to a cow getting to a slaughter house with no hope of returning alive.Let government resolve the crisis then i shall go back to teach. For now I can’t risk my life”.

Anonymous Teacher

Note that school resumes in Cameroon on the 5th of October after close to seven months break as a result of COVID 19.

Report by Mbatho Ntan


Pro-government activist alleges conflict between Secondary Education, Territorial Administration Ministers

Frankline Njume has raised worries over losing his job after citing a clash of interests between the ministry of secondary education and the ministry of territorial Administration.

In a social media post, he said the supposed conflict has left me confused.

“Tomorrow is Monday, I don’t know whose instructions to follow in my office. My local authority has issued me instructions backed by sanctions, my Ministry has equally placed certain taboos over my functions accompanied by sanctions if I don’t heed” he wrote.

The activist adds that “from every indication, my Ministry has already made up its mind to sanction me for executing the orders of my local authority. Both authorities are aware of the influence and threats directed to me by each other.”

In an attempt to resolve the issue, he added that he has pleaded with both authorities to arrive at a consensus to no avail. His appeals for high quarters to resolve the dispute he says too, have fallen on deaf ears.

“Instead, each authority is expecting me to obey it and disobey the other. My local authority has its own power, my Ministry has its own power too. I am the powerless one in the middle, the grass that has to suffer while 2 elephants fight.”

He went on to explain that he has greater details, and is in need of help from anyone who truly cares about him.

He said “I am using social media because I have been refused audience in my Ministry, and that is because some persons coming from a certain region, have sufficiently poisoned the heart of my hierarchy against me.”

Frankline Njume is non stranger to controversy. Especially since the escalation of the Anglophone crisis into an armed conflict, he has been one of the most known progovernment supporters and had often been accused of tribalism and hate speech.

Mimi Mefo Info


Nearly 500 schools directly affected by violence in NW, SW – Trade Unions

The Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union, CATTU, Catholic Education Workers Trade Unions, CEWOTU, Presbyterian Education Authority Teachers Union, PEATTU, Baptist Teachers Trade Union, BATTUC, and the Teachers Association of Cameroon, TAC have addressed the crisis in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon.

In a latest release, the five trade unions revealed that a total of 465 schools have been partially or wholly looted, occupied by armed gangs “or partially or wholly burnt down within the past two years”.

“These figures are breathtakingly horrifying and give the impression of a slow but inevitable descent into a hellish form of existence, which will leave in its wake repercussions untold,” the statement said.

The violence the teachers say is “devastating the educational legacy of the Anglophone regions”.
They add that “in the 20018/2019 school year, the number of students who were either attacked, tortured and/or shot stood at was 287, while in 2019/2020, the number dropped to a non-negligible 24…correspondingly the number of teachers in the same bracket was 97 in 2018/2019 and 67 in 2019/2020”.

Appealing for all parties involved in the close to four-year-long conflict in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions to put an end to the bloodshed, leaders of the five trade unions further painted a similar picture of the experiences of teachers, citing the case of three of them affected recently.

According to the union leaders, government “should continue to explore ways of reaching out to the parties in the ongoing conflict and addressing the grievances that provoked the crisis in the first place.”

The army also has a role to play, they added. “They should continue sourcing for ways to actually secure the beleaguered populations and communities and to make tact and restraint their philosophy in every action of theirs, especially vis-a-vis the civilians who consciously or unconsciously play buffer”.

“That will at least show the difference between the professionals they are and the rag-tag armed men they are called upon to tango with every now and then” they add.

The bloody conflict which has triggered reactions from concerned friends of Cameroon abroad began in 2016 with the lawyers’ and teachers’ strike. Actors of both entities urged for educational and legal reforms, but the government reacted by arresting and torturing several protesters who took to the street peacefully.

The problem, the trade unionist affirm, are yet to be addressed. “From the onset of the strike, we did not contend that our educational system was totally bad. We equally asserted that a good number of those issues have been righted and we cannot assess the good faith and equity of their implementation to good measure if we do not allow for schools to resume safely”.

“These figures are breathtakingly horrifying and give the impression of a slow but inevitable descent into a hellish form of existence, which will leave in its wake repercussions untold,” the statement said.

The violence the teachers say is “devastating the educational legacy of the Anglophone regions”. They add that “in the 20018/2019 school year, the number of students who were either attacked, tortured and/or shot stood at was 287, while in 2019/2020, the number dropped to a non-negligible 24…correspondingly the number of teachers in the same bracket was 97 in 2018/2019 and 67 in 2019/2020”.

(C) Mimi Mefo Info


UBa: Masters degree students threaten protest

Students at the masters level in the Higher Institute of Commerce and Management (HICM) at the University of Bamenda in the North West region of Cameroon are considering taking “aggressive steps” to push the school administration, to organize academic defense sessions for them.

One of the disgruntled students who spoke to Mimi Mefo Info on the bases of anonymity says the wait has been a long. “I and my course mates enrolled for the two-year master program in the department of marketing in 2016. Since then, we have completed all our academic and financial obligations yet the administration has not organized the defense,” he said.

According to our source, on several occasions, the Department of Marketing HICM has programmed and postponed the defense session without any tangible reason advanced. “Our plights have simply been ignored,” he continued.

“Sometimes they will set the date for the defense and when we travel to Bambili from different towns and villages in Cameroon, nothing ends up taking place. When it happens as such, we will write messages to the HICM Marketing Head of Department – HOD, Dr. Ndam Mama but he will neither answer our calls nor reply to the messages. This is frustrating for us and for me in particular,” retorted our source.

Contacted on phone to react to these claims from the students, Dr. Ndam directed us to his hierarchy. “Mr journalist you should contact the director of the school of Higher Institute of Management and commerce to answer your questions”. By saying this, the university denied commenting further on the issue of why eighteen master students of his department have not defended their thesis.

To the students, the high cost of living in Bambili couple with the level of insecurity in the town, which is closer to Bamenda, has been an additional burden on them and their families. “Some of my course mates are leaving in different towns in Cameroon and coming to Bambili frequently for fake defense dates is a problem”.

In addition to the financial burden incurred as a result of the delay, the students are decrying the fact they are forced to pay fees each academic year “…for unnecessary delays caused by the school administration and not us the students.”

To the students, they want an immediate organization of defense session this month of September to ensure their graduation in December 2020.

Reacting to the complaints of the students, the director of the Higher Institute of Commerce and Management (HICM) says they are two major reasons why the students who enrolled since 2016 have not defended their thesis. To Prof Njimated Godfrey Forgah: “Insecurity in Bambili in particular and the North West region, in general, has made some of these students not to be consistent in attaining lectures and other academic works. So we decided that it will be needless to led students that have not acquired enough knowledge to defend Secondly, during the pre-defense, some of the thesis from the students were poorly written and did not reflect the standard set for the University of Bamenda(UBa). The panel made corrections”.

The administration of the University of Bamenda is equally accusing some of the 18 master’s degree students in the department of Marketing in HICM of unnecessarily in a haste to defend when they have not completed the university requirements.

“There is no need for these students to complain when they know they have not completed all the stages required by master students before going for defense which is the last stage before graduation. When the students will be done with all the requirements, I will write to the director of academic affairs who shall intend forward to the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of teaching and finally to the vice-chancellor that has the sole responsibility of programming academic defense,” Professor Njimate added.

He stresses on the fact that no Head of Department has a right to schedule students to defend except the Vice-Chancellor.

Students, however, insist the department has failed in the aspect of organization – which explains why Professor Njimated was appointed in 2019 to address the key issues and ensure that the activities of students monitored and dates of defense to be respected. No major changes can be seen, students of the institution told MMI.

(C) Mimi Mefo Info.

Cameroon Education

Baccalaureate exam leaks: Classmates of detained student launch appeal for his release

Days back, news of the arrest of a student accused of sharing leaked Baccalaureate Examination questions to a WhatsApp forum met with mixed reactions.

Latest developments indicate that the accused, Gervais Kevin was not the only student arrested.

Students of the National Polytechnic Douala (ENSPD) have written a complaint, calling for the release of one of theirs implicated in the case.

Kamga Brandoon Wilson Ledoux, a 5th year automotive technology student and co-founder of a digital start-up called Waloop, they say, was arrested on August 5th in Douala by agents of the judicial police in collaboration with the National Anti Corruption Commission, CONAC.

Described as a young and dedicated entrepreneur since his first year in the institution, Kamga, his classmates say signed a contract with a private higher institute, ISTEG which required that he managed their communication and marketing.

Consequently, he created a WhatsApp forum where Baccalaureate exam candidates were drilled on several modalities as a means to cajole them to chose the institution for further learning.

He was later arrested and is in detention alongside Gassam Niche Gervais Kevin, a Baccalaureate candidate who allegedly forwarded leaked examination questions to the forum.

“Our friend never forwarded the leaked exam questions and even after investigations, it was established that they did not know each other and that he (Kevin) had joined the group through a link invite,” Kamga’s classmates state.

Kamga, they add, “has no parent in or affinity to the Baccalaureate Board or in the Ministry of Secondary Education. Today, our classmate is unfairly accused because he was administrator of a WhatsApp group. He is accused because he wanted to guide our juniors.”

The young entrepreneur’s classmates say their greatest fear at the moment is that he may miss his defense come October, a situation that will not only negatively affect him but his partner with whom he is executing his end of course project too.

“Despite all the steps taken by our establishment, nothing has been accepted to allow him to finish writing his thesis … even if it is on bail we want his freedom so that he comes to express his genius nature as a mechatronics engineer,” they plead in their writeup.

They add that the chances of him making it for his defense have become slimmer as the examining magistrate adjourned the case for 6 months for further investigation.

Calling for his release, they express their disappointment: “we, ENSPD students are frustrated by the decisions taken by the courts so far against a future engineer, a young job creator and bearer of hope for this country which wants to be emerging in coming years.”

The ongoing case over leaked Baccalaureate exams has caused a stir on social media, as many have questioned why students are being accused and prosecuted when the officials believed to have leaked the exam from the head office walk free.

(C)Mimi Mefo Info


18-year-old spends second night in dreaded Kondengui prison over Baccalaureate exam leak

Gassam Noche Gervais Kevin, a final year student in Bagante in the West region is currently being detained at the Kondengui prison in Yaounde, Cameroon’s political capital.

The 18-year-old was arrested for allegedly forwarding leaked Baccalaureate exam questions to a study group.

Reports say he spent two weeks at the Bafoussam Judicial Police station before being notified of the reason for his arrest.

“Even after his mother to whom he is a lone son, was finally informed of the reason for her son’s arrest, his ordeal was just starting,” recounts a source.

Kevin would later be transported to Yaounde where an examining magistrate ordered that he be sent to the Kondengui prison.

The move has raised a lot of criticism as Secondary Education Minister, Nalova Lyonga in another investigation reportedly fished out the 7 officials suspected of leaking the examination.

All seven who were workers at the Cameroon Baccalaureate Office are reportedly at large for fear of facing the law.

“Why arrest a student because of a leakage, if at all there was any? Are the questions not at the disposal of teachers before being distributed to students? Why pin it on an innocent student?” Pondered an observer.

Kevin on the other hand is still at the Yaounde prison, a situation likely to jeopardise his future.

Kevin’s case can be likened to that of Fomusoh Ivo, Afuh Nivelle Nfor and Azah Levis Gob for sharing a joke on Boko Haram. All three are still serving a 10-year jail term. Many fear a similar fate may befall Kevin.

A maximum security facility, the Kondengui prison is home to thousands of inmates sentenced for violent and non violent crimes, and many others awaiting trial, a process notorious for being extremely slow, costly and merciless.

Mimi Mefo Info


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Children Should Go To School – Mark Bareta

As schools are expected to resume in Cameroon in the days ahead, uncertainty reigns in the North West and South West Regions of the country.
Aside having the COVID-19 disease to deal with, learners in these two English-speaking regions have to meander through bullets from armed men and state forces.

Amidst the uncertainty, Ambazonia activist, Mark Bareta says schools should go on in places that are safe in the restive regions.

In a statement published today, Bareta says “the Southern Cameroons liberation struggle is not about school boycott anymore. That phase of the resistance is over.”

He insists that Southern Cameroonians are not against children going to school.
“What we have consistently said is that the right to life is more important than the right to education. As such, where the security situation permits, children should go to school,” he said. “This is evident in various areas where schooling is ongoing because the security situation permits.”

Bareta furthers that given the sporadic nature of fighting, Ambazonia Forces cannot guarantee the safe schooling of children.
“In areas possible, Ambazonia Forces should allow the schooling of children especially one that stops the singing of colonial anthem,” said Bareta. “Most subjects except history are generic and same with countries all over the world. Students can engage with those subjects.”

We have consistently asked our Defense Forces to understand that churches, hospitals and schools are some holy grounds in times of war and must not be a subject to any attack or used as a shield, Bareta adds.
Bareta says they’ll continue to enforce ghost towns every Monday, but a lockdown, whenever necessary, will not exceed three days.

“The central message and position of Mark Bareta is that where possible schools should go on as long as the security situation permits but schools with French Cameroun teachers and funny type of teaching must close immediately. Ambazonia Forces in their area of command know best how to deal with these especially with the prevailing security situation. They have our prayers and blessings all the time.”

Mimi Mefo Info


Five persons detained in Yaounde over leaked BACC exams

Five persons have been sent to Kondengui including an 18 year old student in connection with leaked Baccalaureate exams.

Arrested and detained some weeks ago over the leaked exam paper.

Approximately physics, chemistry and SVT tests initially designed for the science classes had somehow been leaked on the internet, thereby forcing the authorities to cancel them and reschedule other subjects.

Arrested in connection with the scandal a month ago, they were yesterday sent to prison.

amongst those detained is 18 -year- old Gassam Noche Gervais Kevin, final year student at the Bagante High School.

Freelance journalist Boris Bertolt revealed that the student received the leaks on the eve of the exams and shared it to his friends and classmates.

Upon realisation, the teenager was arrested and taken to Yaounde where he has now been sent to jail along with 4 other persons including a teacher from Melong and three temporary teachers from Penja in the Litoral.

The detention of the five comes two weeks after the Minster of Secondary Education; Dr. Nalova Lyonga gave sanctions against seven serving officials at the Cameroon Baccalaureate office (OBC). The administrative investigation established that they were the authors of the leaks.