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Cameroon: Gov’t Launches National Bilingual Week

The ministries responsible for education have launched a week of activities to promote the country's two official languages. The opening…

The ministries responsible for education have launched a week of activities to promote the country’s two official languages.

The opening ceremony of the 19th edition of the National bilingualism week was yesterday at Bertoua, headquarter of the East Region. “Bilingualism, a vector for digitising education to promote civic and moral values in a peaceful and emerging Cameroon” is the theme of this year’s edition. Boniface Bayaola, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Secondary Education in charge of teachers training, represented the minister at the launching ceremony of the activities. He was welcomed by the region’s governor, Gregoire Mvongo, on Sunday 28th January.

After the opening ceremony and until Friday, February 2, awareness campaigns will be carried out by the government and education stakeholders. The focus will be on the importance of the use of the two official languages, French and English, in schools. This week, which ends with the Bilingualism National Day celebrated every first Friday in February, will also be an opportunity for students to organise activities on their various campuses.

The two official languages (English and French) were consecrated by the constitutional revision of January 18, 1996. They were inherited from the mandatory period under the United Kingdom and France. National Bilingualism Week is a way of encouraging young people to practice both languages. In some schools, Wednesday is dedicated to bilingualism. Other measures include the creation of bilingual schools and the introduction of a bilingual curriculum at the secondary school level. On January 23, 2017, the government created the National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism in the midst of the Anglophone crisis. However, many Cameroonians still find it difficult to use both languages.

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