Effective School Resumption In NW, SW:
Schools have successfully resumed in some parts of the North West and South West Regions today.
Story, Kah Patience
A new era in the education sector for the North West and South West regions is here after four years of interruption. Stakeholders for the first time in four years have now endorsed the need for every child in the two regions to return to school this 2020/2021 school year.
Here, the new school year has not only received it blessings from the population and government, but from some renowned separatist leaders. Just like the population, separatist leaders think it is time to send all children back to school.
Monday October 5, 2020 pupils and students in some towns and villages of the North West and South West regions were seen going to school. The turnout was impressive. It is expected to swell in the days ahead owing to the huge mobilization and sensitization carried out by village leaders in communities across these two regions.
For four years running, schools in the North West and South West regions have been going on piecemeal. Just like Eric Tataw and Mark Bareta, all separatist voices, the people have both stated clearly that, nothing is worth stopping children from going to school again.
Gov’t Takes Measures
Education ministers and government spokesman in a recent joint press conference in Yaounde disclosed that, key innovations have been effected in the Basic Education sector at the pedagogical level.
These include; blended learning, which emphasizes on the flipped classroom method of teaching, that is to say, the realization of pedagogical projects, in groups and face-to-face, will be done simultaneously at school and at home, with the support of parents or guardians.
Distance learning, with the creation of distance learning centres already planned in regional chief-towns. It added that, at this level, the Government intends to favour the development and provision of educational materials, such as “Activity Booklets”, for the benefit of young learners.
“In addition, daily teaching practices will naturally be adapted to the special context relating to the prevention and response against the coronavirus in Cameroon, for all nursery and primary levels, and for all classes.
Day-to-day information will also be given to young learners on everything related to the compulsory and systematic wearing of masks,” The basic education minister Prof Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa said: “Likewise, teachers will be called upon to show good example, through the compulsory and systematic wearing of masks. As measures to fight the spread of coronavirus, there shall respect for physical distancing measures as well as the form of greetings by students among themselves, or between students and teachers, are some of the important aspects provided for in the protocol of the daily educational practices put in place by the Government, to ensure a safe return to school, and as well”.
“The same applies to secondary education, where, in both health and educational terms, the package of measures taken by the Government covers all issues related to the safety of learners and the entire educational community,” communication minister , Rene Emmanuel Sadi stated.
This involves, among others, the disinfection of schools, the provision of sanitary kits in sufficient quality and quantity, the multiplication of water and hand washing points, and the equipment of schools with surveillance cameras. Distance learning will also make it possible to compensate for the lessons not taught in class.”
At the Higher Education sector, the Government Spokesman said, “the 2020/2021 academic year will be structured around the three watch words prescribed by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya, namely, quality assurance, professionalisation and employability.”
“The measures taken by the Government, particularly in the areas of academics, health and research, should allow students to be in a safe environment, and to benefit from the facilities offered by the optimisation and maximisation of university digital technology, which is a guarantee of increased distance education and reduction in physical contact for members of the university community,” Sadi emphasized.
“It is in this light and considering both the need for classes to resume in a context where the coronavirus pandemic is still present, and the absolute requirement to implement all the measures taken to cope with this pandemic, that the Government has decided to set the start of the school year on October 5, 2020, for nursery, primary and secondary school pupils, and on October 15, 2020, for learners in Higher Education,” he clarified.
“In so doing, as the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, Head of Government, have kept reminding us, it should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been defeated, let alone eradicated in Cameroon,” he stressed.
Separatist activists Eric Tataw and Mark Bareta recently issued statements calling for all children in the crisis-hit North West and South West regions to be allowed access to school campuses.
Before now, the local population in communities across the two regions had embarked on massive cleaning of schools to prepare for the new school year.
The calls are unanimous and everyone now has realised the danger
of keeping children away from school. The English sub-system of education remains the pride of the people and attempts to ruin it for the past four years have rendered the North West and South West regions redundant. It is now a season that is about to surface for the education industry in these two regions.
Communities For Effective School Resumption
Villages across the North West and South West regions had before today’s school reopening cleaned different school campuses in preparation.
Ex-students of COTECC –Bafut, Mezam division of the North West region were among those who led such campaigns. Others did same in the different corners of the 13 divisions of the North West and South West regions.
Local NGOs, elite and other social groups including individuals had already donated learning materials to pupils and students in some parts of these regions. The anxiety and excitement had been palpable before today’s school reopening.