They will try to defuse the strike that has blocked school in the anglophone zone since November 2016.
All day yesterday, it was not possible to reach Wilfred Tassang, the executive secretary of the Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union (Cattu) on the phone. On the other hand, that of his counterpart Valentine Tameh of the Teachers’ Association of Cameroon (Tac) started ringing in the early afternoon. The two men are leaders of the main English-speaking teachers’ unions in Bamenda, the capital of the North West region.
If all goes well, these leaders and their colleagues from other related associations come will into conclave with government emissaries this morning in the services of the governor of the region at Up Station. Objective: to negotiate an exit from the crisis and ensure the resumption of the courses on behalf of the second trimester, in the anglophone zone of the country.
Yesterday, in the town of Bamenda, the atmosphere was heavy. Union leaders were in great demand. Everyone wanted to prescribe them the firmness to be during these works which will be strongly supervised by the forces of order, to prevent the intrusion of troublemakers.
“You now represent the English-speaking nation. Defend our cause. Do not try to betray us, “could be heard from some activists who wanted the work to take place at the Congress Hall or the Ayaba Hotel and be open to the public. Until the trade unions, voices were raised to solicit prior consultation with the foundation before these negotiations, which both think, no longer concern the only problem of the school.
“We are not politicians. We go to the meeting with the 11 points that we raised in our request to the Prime Minister. No deviation is possible. We are going to focus on it, “says Valentine Tameh, who claims to be a victim, as well as her counterparts invited to the meeting, of multiple threats. From the irreducible who transformed the teachers’ strike into a political springboard. Of that also of the partisans of the power who want to force them to let go of the ballast and to conclude if necessary, a bad agreement with the government.
Beyond the usual grumbling of teachers, English-speaking unions thrilled the show last November by going on strike to denounce the “francophonisation” of their subsystem of education. Within a few days of the unlimited strike held by Unepta, the Prime Minister created an ad hoc committee, chaired by the Minister of Higher Education, to study the claims. During the weekend, the governor failed to persuade the union leaders to go to the working session chaired by Jacques Fame Ndongo.
On one hand, they say that their security is not guaranteed in Yaounde, on the other the trade unionists accuse them of having sold their claims to the power of Yaounde. The resolutions are rather a causus belli. Building on the constitution, the ad hoc committee will disqualify all claims. It will show that in the current state of management of the republic, anglophones have no particular reason to complain. Anger rises. Teachers go down the street. Disgruntled were waiting for the spark after the crackdown on Nwela’s lawyers who claim a common law bar and statements deemed provocative by Paul Atanga Nji. From 24 to 26 November 2016, Pm Philemon Yang tried to defuse the crisis, in vain. “The strike continues, the government wants to play with us,” said Wilfred Tassang. Are we going to have a free game today? The negotiations are with the English-speaking trade unions.