Major National Dialogue: implementating recommendations evaluated two years on (1)

By Hilltopvoices

September 30 2021 marked two years of the opening of the Major National Dialogue (MND) in Yaoundé Cameroon. The historic event that lasted till October 4, 2019 had the mission "to seek ways and means of meeting the high aspirations of the people of the North-West and SouthWest Regions as top priority following the transformation of corporate claims by lawyers and teachers to civil disobedience and now a full blown armed conflict. 
Leveraging "the collective efforts of all and sundry in reinforcing the bonds of the Cameroonian common destiny and a major milestone in the very honourable exercise of constructing the nation" was also on focus reason why other issues came into up deliberations. 

In a compendium published on the second anniversary of the MND which the government considers a high point and not end point in the dialogue process, the office of the Prime Minister charged with the organisation, assembling of recommendations of the MND and followup for implementation has published a situational report which generally scores high 

Prior to the implementation of the MND recommendations, the compendium begins with government actions towards responding tbo grievances of teachers 

Excerpt of Compendium

Response to teachers

Poor output of learners, non-mastery of the language of instruction and acute shortage of teachers in public basic and secondary schools in rural areas.

The Minister of Secondary Education instructed the dispatch of teachers, the bulk of whom were sent to the North-West and South- West Regions. Francophone lecturers and administrative staff who are not fluent in English were dispatched from the Universities of Bamenda and Buea. Complete
Acute shortage of Anglophone teachers in the technical/ industrial domains, sciences and French and lack of or shortage of high level qualified Anglophone lecturers in some domains.

The Head of State instructed the recruitment of 1,000 young bilingual teachers specialised in science and technology. The Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reforms launched a special recruitment of 1,000 young bilingual graduates. Recruitment of lecturers in all the 8 State Universities. Complete
 Poor mastery of some subjects.

 A Department of French Modern Letters has been created in the Higher Teachers’ Training College (ENS) of the University of Bamenda. Complete

 Sole Use of MCQs as entrance examination instruments and lack of practical experience for second cycle trainees in the Teachers Training Colleges

Introduction of new examination instruments in addition to Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), for entrance examinations into professional schools.
Creation of another Higher Technical Teachers’ 

Training College (ENSET) for the francophone subsystem of education. Creation of a Higher Institute of Engineering and Technology for the English subsystem (Polytechnic at University of Bamenda). Complete

Lack of or Shortage of high level qualified Anglophones in some domains of commerce.

Reinforcement of the Admission of HND/HPD certificate holders in particular specialities, into third year of HTTTCs of the Universities of Bamenda and Buea, to make up for the acute shortage of technical teachers in Anglophone schools. Complete 
Harmonisation of programs in the Universities of Buea and Bamenda and delay of its approval. Non-respect of section 16 (2) of Law No. 98/004 of 14 April 1998 to lay down guidelines for education in Cameroon.

The Minister of Higher Education has ordered for the Harmonization of programmes in the Universities of Buea and Bamenda.The draft texts to align the technical education certification system of the English subsystem of education with the guiding principles of the said system are being finalized. On going

Ambiguity on the Higher Education law of April 2001 regarding entry conditions and qualification for students. 

Increase in the number of candidates to be admitted into the HTTCs and HTTTCs. Admission of candidates into specialization in HTTC and HTTTC of the Universities of Buea and Bamenda on the basis of their highest certificates. Complete
Harmonisation of Master’s studies.

Effective implementation of harmonised BMD programs in all Universities. Awarding of end-of-course diplomas that specify the status of trainees in professional schools. -More autonomy for the Universities in the organization of competitive entrance exams into professional schools. Complete 

Very low subvention to  lay private and confessional schools and high taxes on education. 

The President of the Republic ordered a special subsidy of CFA F 2 billion, to be granted to lay private and denominational schools for the 2017 fiscal year. It is in addition to a previously budgeted amount of CFAF 2.3 billion, taking Government effort in this area to CFAF 4.3 billion. Complete 

Frequent changes of text books on the booklist from Primary, Secondary to High schools. 

The policy on textbooks and teaching materials reviewed at the National Forum on Education. One text book policy implemented.