Higher Education: Professionalism, Pre-requisite For Progress
A conference on professionalising higher education in Cameroon began yesterday, October 11, 2016 in Yaounde.
Information indicate that in Africa, as elsewhere, university systems are facing challenges and are at the crossroads of profound transformation, shaped by the theatre of political, economic, cultural and social changes. This is seen through the soaring numbers of students associated with the quality and relevance of training needs of the labour market. Faced with the complexity of current and future global challenges, the Ministry of Higher Education has embarked on a programme to professionalise Cameroon’s higher education system in a bid to modernise and render it competitive and performant. It is within this backdrop that the Minister of Higher Education, Jacques Fame Ndongo, yesterday, October 11, 2016 in Yaounde opened the second national conference on the Professionalisation of Higher Education in Cameroon on the theme; “Higher Education and Social Demand”.
Present at the opening session was the President of the UNESCO General Conference, Stanley Mutumba Simataa, who reiterated UNESCO’s readiness to assist Cameroon in meeting up with the challenges faced in its higher education sector. He stressed on the need for higher education output to be aligned with the changes taking place in the society in a bid to ensure efficiency with the type of graduates that come out of such institutions. UNESCO as a willing partner is going to ensure that the final products from Cameroon’s Higher Education System are apt for the ever changing society through the provision of expertise and knowledge to assist Cameroon in its effort towards professionalisation of the higher education system.
Jacques Fame Ndongo highlighted the path covered by the government to professionalise the higher education sector beginning with the Bachelor-Master-Doctorate (BMD) system which started in 2007. The Minister said on the instructions of the Head of State, they are out to train creators of jobs and not job seekers. As such, universities should be able to open their doors to employment through adaptable teaching methods. Through presentations and group work, university authorities from all the ten Regions of the country will brainstorm on topics such as “legal alignment of professionalization”, “mechanisms for decrypting economic demand as an indicator of training offer” and “business incubators and junior enterprises”. At the end of discussions, a harmonised programme of technological and teachers training fields will be established.