Some 18 schools have been selected to benefit from the infrastructure support programme of the Japanese Government, North Regional Delegate for Basic Education, Fon Nyangha Susan says.
She made unveiled that package at the sector conference of basic education in Bamenda last August 29, 2012. Yet, public opinion is skeptical at the distribution of the schools in the region. Santa Sub Division according to what we gathered will get the bulk of the schools. To confirm that North West begins and ends in Mezam, only two schools or so out of Mezam Division will benefit from the support programme. Two primary schools of Boyo, we gathered will exceptionally benefit from the support. The Santa mafia we gathered masterminded the inequitable distribution exercise before Fon Susan was appointed Regional Delegate. Some PTA President are reported aghast with the decision and have vowed to use Yaounde connections to reverse the scandalous distribution. With the contractor already earmarked, it is feared the decision may be irreversible.
It should be noted that the basic education sector of the North West Rgion last year controlled 2892 schools with 9040 classrooms with a deficit of over 3000 classrooms consequently exposing a good number of the 425,299 pupils to harsh learning conditions. There are still schools in the region with classrooms. Yet Santa is overshadowing the region, a PTA President commented. The situation is more precarious in rural areas, where some schools operate in open air or under trees like the case of G.S. Usih-sih in Benakuma of Menchum Division, GS Kup and GS Tuku (Tabenken) both found in Nkambe Central of Donga Mantung Division. Studying in such an atmosphere over the years has been conditioned by weather settings and often leaves the pupils dejected as they are either exposed to harsh sunny conditions or the rain. The problem is going to be more telling in the region this academic year as the doors of some 361 schools have been sealed for failing to meet the criteria to operate.
In most cases the government has ceded her responsibility of constructing classrooms in public schools to parents who pay huge sums as Parent Teacher Association, PTA levies, to put in place infrastructure for their children. Some years ago, the government declared primary education free of charge in public schools but what tax payer’s pay as PTA levies now by far exceeds what used to be charged for school fees.
The collections of illicit dues by some school authorities and other corrupt practices make the responsibility of educating a child even more cumbersome to some parents. Presiding at the sector conference, the Secretary General at the governors Office, Ebune Confiance, warned against such practices. “Quality education can only be achieved when teachers exercised their duties within the confines of moral and professional ethics and the deontology guiding basic education,” Mr Ebune exhorted.
The government for this academic year has attempted to assuage the situation by allocating 291 teachers and clerical staff out of the 25,000 recruits according to the Delegate of Basic Education, but their effectiveness or presence remains questionable because they are yet to be on the pay roll since their employment in 2011.
Looking at these problems, these children have learned to adapt to the changing environment but pathetically, they cannot compare with their peers. The situation in rural areas is so pathetic that most teachers are recruited by the PTA with a salary of less than 10.000 FCFA a month (approximately less than US $20)
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