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Cameroon – Chinese Laptops: Students might need to wait again.

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Written by Deckson N.

One year after Paul Biya’s promise to grant Cameroonian each student with a laptop, the process of its effective implementation has only just begun.

Like seriously, who will be able to say exactly when the first Cameroonian student will take possession of his/her laptop, a special gift from the president of the republic?.

For a year after this promise, spelled out in his speech of 10 February 2016 and recalled in July of the same year with the signing in Yaoundé of an agreement known as “e-national higher education“, between the Minister of Higher Education and the Chinese company Sichuan telecoms construction engeneering Co. Ltd. intended to generalize the use of ICTs by Cameroonian students, the process leading to the actual delivery of these computers to beneficiaries is just beginning.

The proof is that on 12 April 2017, the Minister of Higher Education presided over the evaluation meeting on the effectiveness of this gift of the Head of State.

At the end of the work, it was decided that the beneficiaries should be regular students of Cameroonian universities or private institutes of higher education on behalf of the academic year 2016-2017.

A process of making biometric lists of students eligible for the program of donating computers by institutions of higher education should indeed allow the development of the national biometric file of students of this academic year.

According to Minesup, all regular, eligible and duly enrolled students in this national biometric file will benefit from the announced donation from the Head of State.

Diversion

Now, to the proof of the facts, one realizes that it will take a lot of patience to finally see this project come true. Even in the Ministry of Higher Education there is no indication of optimism. Here, an official close to the case, obviously embarrassed to evoke this subject confesses that “this case is complicated. We are still waiting for the lists to be forwarded to us. And we, in turn, will forward them to the committee responsible for the distribution of the said computers. But we are still far from the end of the tunnel, because even at the level of university institutions, there is still a long delay. In fact, it is not even one. For nothing has indeed begun.”

On the campus of the University of Yaoundé 1, students regularly registered confirm that they have not yet been approached for a possible census in this direction. Worse, they are greatly surprised by the fact that “they were given an announcement to identify those students without a national identity card to establish one.”

Vigor and swiftness

And yet, Jacques Fame Ndongo, Minister of Higher Education, recalled that the State universities and Private Institutions “must continue, with more vigor and swiftness, the process of biometric enrollment of students, in accordance with the specifications prepared by the technical working group established for this purpose “.

It should be noted, moreover, that on 12 April, it was clear that each Institution publishes by all means accessible to its students, in particular the electronic way, the list of students of the academic year 2016/2017 eligible for the program by Establishment, cycle, course and level; That each Institution publish by any means accessible to its students the list of possible students of the year 2016/2017 not eligible for the program and the reasons why they are declared ineligible by the Institution; That each institution transmit to the Ministry of Higher Education, after exhaustion of applications and issue of student cards, the biometric file of students eligible for the Program for the preparation of the National Biometric Student File of the academic year 2016/2017.

As a reminder, the project “e-national higher education network” is based on some principal axes.

The first involves the donation of 500,000 computers to all students duly enrolled in the eight state universities and the 215 private institutes of higher education regulated by the National Commission for Higher Education.

The amount of this donation amounts to 75 billion CFA francs. They will be manufactured by a Chinese company.

The second axis is the construction of nine Digital University Development Centers in each State University and the Cameroon-Congo Inter-State University in Sangmélima for the systematization of e-learning in academia and university interconnection.

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Deckson N.