Officials of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board (GCE) have begun paying the out-of- station allowances owed GCE Examiners who partook in the marking of the 2017 session of the examination.
The Board’s officials started paying the Examiners’ dues on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, after close to one year of procrastination.
The Examiners’ dues are being paid at a time when the teachers are threatening to boycott the 2018 marking session of the exams, if their 2017 dues are not paid.
Things even degenerated when the GCE results for the 2017/2018 academic year were released when the Examiners’ out-of- station allowances had not been paid. Some of the Examiners even accused the then GCE Board Registrar, Dr. Humphrey Ekema Monono, of trying to embezzle their dues.
They argued that the then Minister of Secondary Education, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe, had long dispatched the funds to the Board to pay the Examiners, but that officials of the Board were scheming to siphon the money.
But one of the officials of the Board who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said the 2017/2018 session of the examination was very complicated for the Board to manage, give the socio-political upheavals that were rocking the country at the time.
He said the Board diverted some of the funds to meet up with the exigencies of the examination, given that, the Minister had ordered that any registered candidate could write the exams in any centre in the country, even if the candidate did not register in that centre.
“This decision created a lot of confusion and an additional cost on the budget of the Board to manage the exams. So in order for the Board to meet up with this new directives, stringent measures needed to be taken for the general success and conduct of the examination,” our source stated.
Meanwhile, when the clock chimed 11:00 am on April 25, the GCE Board Head Office in Buea was already teeming with Examiners, who had come to collect their dues. The Board started paying Examiners of seven O level subjects and will continue with the rest subsequently.
Speaking to one of the Examiners, Julius Takang, who had just collected his money, he said: “I think the payment of our dues is timely because we were planning to boycott the 2018 marking session. But we thank Government for honouring her promise.”
On her part, Magdalene Chi, a Chemistry Examiner asserted that “after all the difficulties we encountered in the last GCE marking session, we are advising the Government to always make available this money before the commencement of the marking session, this will go a long in helping the Examiner better carry out the exercise.”