The 2016/2017 school year begins today, September 5, 2016, against the backstop of efforts to make education more skill-oriented.
Here we go again with the beginning of another academic year. Today, September 5, 2016, marks the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year, with hundreds of thousands of nursery, primary, secondary and high school children hitting the road for new classes. This school year comes against the backdrop of efforts to professionalise secondary and elementary education to meet the growing socio-economic needs of the country.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Secondary Education has directed that enrolment be restricted in certain classes to make learning more efficient. There is no gainsaying that majority of school leavers and university graduates today read grammar or general education courses. This explains the high level of unemployment among such job seekers. With Cameroon determined to become an emergent economy by 2035, professionalisation of the school curricula becomes a must, and not just an option. The major infrastructure projects across the country being executed mostly by foreigners require greater intake of local staff.
Moreover, there is always need for local crafts people to carry out small-scale construction, electrification and carpentry projects in our communities. It is for this reason that government, through the Ministries of Basic Education, Secondary Education and Higher Education, has been striving to make education more professional by introducing new courses or making old ones more practical or skill-oriented. Similarly, the new school year takes off against the background of efforts to streamline enrolment.
The Minister of Secondary Education recently directed that enrolment in Form One and Year One of technical secondary schools be gradually restricted to 60 students and 80 students for those other classes. This is to streamline learning by making it more efficient. Placing a gradual ceiling on admissions into certain secondary and high school classes is with the understanding that an abrupt implementation of the directive will send thousands of children out of school. This is explained by the fact that the structures to conveniently absorb all the children in public schools are not yet in place.
As the new school year begins, it behoves all stakeholders – school managers, teachers, pupils, students, parents and guardians – to properly play their roles to ensure a brighter future for today’s young. For, they are the hope of the future Cameroon.