The phenomenon has become recurrent in Cameroon in recent years.
Formerly, school campuses were considered to be safe environments, especially for children. However, that is no longer the case today. Many parents find it difficult sending their children to certain schools because of reported incidents of violence. Violence usually manifests through students against students, and students against teachers. Insults, rape, stigmatisation, humiliation, assault and fighting, among others, are the different forms of violence common in schools in the country these days.
Recently, a student of the Charles Atangana Technical High School, Bastos, Yaounde, was severely beaten and almost killed by his mates after a quarrel on campus. The students of the same school are reported to have been involved in a fight with those of a neighbouring school. Reports from Douala say students of Government Bilingual High School, Deïdo, were punished for threatening one of their mates with a machete. Educational officials say the problem of violence in schools is of national concern.
In order to stem the trend, school internal rules and regulations prohibit any form of violence, while guidance counselling units offer psychological assistance to perpetrators and victims of serious cases. Charles Atangana Technical High School has introduced campus police made up of students who inform the authorities of severe cases such as drug and games of chance on campus. A lot of sensitisation is also going on campus with the help of the students. Sporadic searches are conducted to find out if there any sharp objects in schools bags.
The school also works with Special Police Unit in charge of Security of Schools and Universities. “Each time there is a case, we refer to them and they send us to the nearest police station for solution,” the official explained. The Head of the Special Unit in charge of the Security of Schools and Universities, Police Commissioner Bello Albert, said when there is a problem in any school, the police intervenes immediately to ensure that peace reigns. He explained that the police usually disperses crowds and in difficult cases, the ring leaders are arrested and interrogated.
According to our source, most of the crimes on school campuses are often committed by individuals who are not students of the school. “They put on the school uniform and go and committee atrocities,” our source said. As a result, access cards are introduced in schools so that only regular students are accepted into campuses. Also, security measures are being tightened to ensure that nobody enters campuses after school hours.