Disappointing success rate, unemployment of private teachers, threat on school system…erode values that are needed in people on whom Cameroon’s tomorrow depends
The lacklustre nature of the last academic year in the two Anglophone regions of the country has left a heavy toll on almost all areas of life but more devastating on the lives of those the country’s future depends-the youth. Idleness, they say, is a devil’s workshop, and the forces of darkness have been at full play with untold visible and looming consequences therein.
Disappointing Exams Success Rate
End-of-course examinations whose excellence has easily been the hallmark of the much-cherished Anglo-Saxon system of education have been shadows of themselves in the last academic year. Not only was the hitherto effervescence known of the exams absent but even those who managed to win the war against intimidation to sit them got all-time low results.
Statistics published by the General Certificate of Education Board show sharp drops in the 2017 performance rate vis-à-vis that of previous years. Advanced Level, for instance, plummeted from 66.52 per cent in 2016 to 35.32 per cent in 2017. While the GCE Ordinary level General Education (O/L) results dropped from 62.17 per cent in 2016 to 25.29 per cent pass this year, GCE Technical O/L equally recorded a 28.49 percentage pass as against 40.12 in 2016. The number of students who listed the exams but failed writing is even disquieting.
Education, analysts say, is the main industry in much of the Anglophone regions, North West in particular. Forcefully or willingly embracing ghost schools, as has been the case ever since the crisis erupted, meant slaughtering the region’s milking cow. The hardest hit had been teachers of lay private and confessional schools who were forced into redundancy and thus denied the privilege of conveniently living and letting others live. While some of them resorted to doing just anything to put food on the table, others simply saw the competitive world closing up on them in the biting poverty that ensued.
Surge in Juvenile Delinquency
Although statistics may not be readily available on how far crime rate increased in the two regions, media reports and simple observations are telling of a disheartening surge in juvenile delinquency in the two regions. Caught in the web of idleness that the ghost schools brought, several school-going youth got loose and many reportedly went round doing everything other than what is good, honouring to them and families and promising to the country.
As the male folk immaturely embraced money-making ventures through holy or dubious means, their opposite sex are said to have been lured into early and apparent unsafe fleshly relations. A visible high rate of teenage pregnancy in the two regions now is telling of the intensity of the youthful decadence even as fears of contracted sexually-transmissible ailments are rife and sometimes fatal consequences looming in the years ahead. This further exacerbates the misery some of the families have been into.
Without any exaggeration, some of these children who were in classrooms in September 2016 may not be rescued again. However, there is an absolute need to salvage what can still be. Better late than never! Massively and unconditionally sending the children back to school come this Monday is simply the way out! Varied government appeasement measures, crowned by August 30 Presidential pardon, deserve good feedback in massive back-to-school.