Former Minister Peter Abety currently Chairman of Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board, GCE board has said end of year certificates may not be credible if the on-going protests in the north-west and south west regions of Cameroon continue. He spoke to press shortly after an emergency meeting held in Buea on March 3.
Students have been out of school for several months. If the strike continues, there will be no way for the syllabuses to be completed. This means that the GCE board will not be able to test students on the entire scheme of work they were expected to complete during the 2016/2017 academic year, Prof. Abety explained.
He gave to understanding that even if end of year certificates were to be recognised in Cameroon when the knowledge imparted on students does not meet the prerequisites for adequate tests, such certificates will not be recognized at the international level. He urged denominational schools and lay private schools represented at the emergency meeting to encourage parents to send their children to school.
The GCE Board official was reminded that the doors of denominational schools have always been open to students. Rev. Zephyrinus Yem Mbuh who represented Catholic schools, said focus should rather be on the reasons why parents have decided to keep their children at home. The deadline for registration for GCE examinations was extended to March 20 with hopes that many more students will sign up. Though official information say only 70,000 students have registered as opposed to closed to 200,000 last year, an insider revealed to press that in reality, only about 40,000 students have registered so far.
Meanwhile, Sir Humphrey Monono, GCE Board Registrar is said to be receiving threats from anonymous individuals warning him not o organise the GCE examinations this year. In an apparently move to safe his skin, the registrar pointed out that the independence of the GCE board has limits. He said he cannot suspend the examination on his own because the board is under the secondary education ministry which sometimes issue direct orders for the board to execute.
Worthy of note is the fact that the Anglophone Civil Society Consortium has continued to discourage parents from sending their children to school. This is part of a civil disobedience non-violent protest through which the Consortium hopes to cow the government into considering the return to federalism as the form of the state. Cameroon was a federation during unification in 1961 until 1972 when former President Ahamadou Ahidjo changed the form of the state through a controversial referendum.