The Minister of Secondary Education has in a brazen disregard of ongoing strike action by teachers, gone ahead to impose a timetable for end of year certificate examinations including the General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE).
The timetable was the subject of a press statement read over state broadcaster, CRTV Thursday Dec. 15. In the statement, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle, the Secondary Education minister, said that the 2017 session of the GCE begins on April 24, and ends on June 16. This is further broken down as follows; from April 24 to May 19, practical sessions shall be organized while the written part starts on May 22 and ends on June 16, 2017.
The GCE is the main certificate examination of the English subsystem of education in Cameroon and despite the indefinite strike action by teachers of North West and South West regions, the Minister defiantly enacted the timetable even when nobody knows when the strike will be called-off. Moreover, students have already missed about a month of classes and most pre-mock examinations that were scheduled for December have been cancelled. Besides, about 90% of candidates who sit for the GCE are found in these two regions and it would be impossible for them to meet up given that the first term that has just ended unceremoniously is the longest term in the school year.
In a telephone chat with a Buea based high school teacher, she was shocked that the Minister would even think of such a decision. She, however, concluded that as far as the decision is concerned, the minister can say what he likes and they will do what they want for themselves. “That one na the minister e own, e no concern we,” she said in pidgin English.
Other education stake holders in the two Anglophone regions have modified their programs including the University of Buea. UB has carried forward the convocation and graduation ceremony that was initially scheduled for this December.
It is to be noted that Massena Ngalle was one of the Ministers who converged around Communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakari when the strike action was just launched, to condemn it and refute all allegations that there is an Anglophone Problem.