The Educational System Committee at the Major National Dialogue on October 3, 2019 presented its recommendations in plenary. Summarised into five major points, they include the proposal that everything be done to ensure the return to peace in the two regions before schools can reopen where they have not yet done so, and the organisation of special catch-up classes to bridge the gap for children who have missed school for three years.
Members said the Francophone and Anglophone sub-systems of education be allowed to continue to exist with their specificities respected and that plans for the holding of the national education forum be hastened up. Emphasis, they said, should be henceforth laid on technical, vocational and skills-based training, and bilingualism and citizenship education strengthened. Also, committee members demanded the creation of a Higher Teachers Training College in the University of Buea.
Other proposals included the relocation of schools from unsafe areas to safe places so that they can resume classes, provision of funds to Internally-displaced People, IDPS and the grant of incentives to facilitate school resumption by cancelling the payment of Parent Teacher Association, PTA levies and examination fees. They recommended that teachers in high-risk security zones be given special monetary incentives and State subventions be immediately paid to private schools to enable them rebuild damaged infrastructure and settle the backlog of unpaid teachers’ salaries for classes to resume.
Where there are insufficient numbers, teachers should be recruited by the State on temporary basis to ensure resumption of classes. Similarly, former combatants should be rehabilitated and offered the opportunity of learning trades or going back to school; assistance given to victims of the war, and an end be put to name calling and blame game in public declarations by officials.
The Educational System Committee proposed that counselling be provided to traumatised war victims and the teaching of history and civics reinforced.