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Teachers in English-speaking Areas of Cameroon Remain on Strike

Thousands of teachers celebrated World Teacher’s Day in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital on October 5.

Ernestine Tabe, a teacher, came to the capital in September to look for a job. She used to live in Kumba, an English-speaking town.

Tabe had not been paid for five months because of an ongoing strike in Cameroon’s English speaking areas.

“I decided to come here in order to get myself involved in teaching, so that the zeal in me would not die down because, as a teacher, you are always eager to teach others to know.”

Last November, most of the schools in Cameroon’s two English-speaking regionsclosed when lawyers and teachers went on strike. The strikers demanded that the government reform how it uses the French language in the country.

Gideon Tanda is a leader of one of the teacher’s trade unions that called the strike.

Tanda spoke about some of the issues the teachers’ union is concerned about. He said English-speaking teachers are often sent to French-speaking regions and French-speaking teachers are sent to English-speaking areas. He added that the teachers often have to teach in areas outside of their training. “What do you think? That person [teacher] cannot perform. There is bad faith,” he said.

Tanda also said that he is concerned that teachers will miss more school.

“[The] Government is not listening, and it is so deplorable now that we have had a lot of killing. People are on the run, others are nowhere to be found, just missing. I feel terribly bad as a teacher that at this point in time people have to miss classes for a whole year and they are about to miss another year.”

English-speaking separatist groups have joined the strike. They are demanding that English-speaking regions form a new state called “Ambazonia.”

Thousands of people demonstrated in the streets in support of calls for independence earlier this month. However, the rights group Amnesty International said security forces reacted violently, killing at least 17 people.

In response to the strike, the government says it has given jobs to 1,000 English-speaking teachers and paid subsidies to private schools. Officials also say they have released some of the leader of teachers’ unions from jail.

The governor of the Southwest Region, Bernard Okalia Bilai, is urging teachers to return to their classrooms. He says the state is here to guarantee their security. He says officials will continue to talk with teachers to deal with their concerns throughout the year.

But other violence also has been reported. Unknown arsonists, possibly from militant groups, have targeted schools that have ignored the call to take part in the strike. Some parents say it is not safe to send their children back to school.

The government estimates that only 20 percent of expected students in the English-speaking regions have shown up for class since the school year began in September.

I’m John Russell.

Moki Edwin Kindzeka reported on this story for VOA News . John Russell adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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17 comments

  1. if they like, let the parents keep their children at home …Cameroun Will always move forward

    • Amour Afrika

      which forward???????? Cameroon has been moving but backward since in the 80s. An individual twisting Nation’s constitution like sanitary pad . Cameroon don turn na man ei personal farm ??? what a pity. Hola Amba !!!!!!

  2. Much wonder, how a bullet, would differenciate between who is a student and not.

    Your child`s life, is much more precious, than the education, that gov`t is pretending
    is so so important at this time.

    Why, would anyone, be waiting for a bell or whistle or drum to sound, to know that
    there is war in Cameroon?

    Teacher`s union, complained about poor standards, support etc. The response, is not
    the militarization of the place, to force anyone, to go to school.

    Tomorrow, it will be another round of militarization, to force lawyers / courts to function.

    57 years of sufferings and no hopes for a people, is too long a time period.

    • Africans For Donald Trump

      It is a fact that education is the most important tool for success in this life!
      The importance of education does not fluctuate from one period to the other.
      The importance of education is not determined by the gov’t of Cameroon.
      It is a universal fact that education is the most important tool for success!

      You and your fellow ambazombi terrorists have abolished education in the nw/sw!
      There is no teachers strike!
      The Lady from Kumba is happy to go continue teaching in the French paret of Cameroon.
      Any parent in the nw/sw who can afford to has sent their children to the French part of the country to go continue their education.
      The ambazombi terrorists do not represent the teachers of the nw/sw!

  3. Africans For Donald Trump

    Teachers are not on strike!

    Teachers and students are being terrorized by cowardly ambazonia terrorists!

    CBC Nkwen was set on fire!
    Sacced Heart Mankon was set on fire!
    St Paul’s Nkwen was set on fire!
    A young girls arm was amputated because she was going to school to write the GCE exam!

    How can teachers be on strike in the NW and SW meanwhile the same teachers are happy to move to Yaoundé to go earn a living as teachers?
    Gideon Tanda is leader of which teachers trade union?
    The teachers ended the strike and encourage students to go back to school and prepare for ther GCE exams early this year! The teachers from the NW and SW are the same people who did the GCE grading! What teachers strike is this article and Gideon Tanda talking about?

    • Since that day the Mvomeka thug appointed your St Bede’s form 2 dropout big brother as minister, you pledged your entire behind to his destruction. How low can you this Akum nonentity sink? Now looking for Trumps’s recognition too? Wandas

      • Africans For Donald Trump

        Your thoughts belong to you and have no bearing on me or the facts!

        Teachers are not on Strike!!
        Teachers from the NW/SW graded the GCE just a few months ago!
        UNICEF did not cancel the GCE!
        The schools in Yaoundé are flooded with the children of people from the NW?SW who understand the value of education!
        Teachers are now living the NW/SW to go earn a living as teachers in the French speaking part of Cameroon!
        A young girls arm was amputated by cowardly anglofool terrorists just because she was determined to go write her exams!
        The people of the NW/SW have no balls to fight the faceless cowardly terrorist who are threatening teachers and students with death if they go to school!Schools are being burnt down by these cowardly terrorists!
        Donald Trump does not visit Cameroononline.org!

      • Africans For Donald Trump

        You are entitled to your delusional thoughts which have absolutely no bearing on me or the facts!

  4. After slave trade was abolished and slaves were declared free, some who looked
    left and right and could not understand what was going on or how to manage
    it, decided to stay on as slaves. To identify themselves, they took to wearing of
    rings on their noses, ears etc. And centuries to come today, this has become
    fashion to especially the youths.
    The point here is that, we should not be bothered with those Anglos / francos,
    who still believe in a system, that has marginalized them from birth and see no
    reason or difference, to improve on their lot.
    Even when the slaves were freed, it became so funny to see them eat with a spoon.
    So patriotic Ambazonians, don`t bother yourselves, quarreling with anyone.
    They too, have their own stories.

    • Africans For Donald Trump

      Teachers are not on strike! The ambazombi anglofools have abolished education!

      Rather education has been abolished by the ambazombi anglofool terrorists!!
      They are burning down schools to threaten teachers and students from going to school. St Pauls Nkwen, CBC Nkwen, Sacred Heart College Mankon have all been set on fire buy these terrorists.

      The ambazombi terrorist amputated the arm of a young girl just because she wanted to go to school to write the GCE!
      The 2016 GCE results were not cancelled by UNICEF! The 2016 GCE was graded by teachers from the nw/sw and that is proof that teachers are not on strike!
      Any parent in the nw/sw who can afford to hase sent their children to go pursue their education in the French part of Cameroon were people understand the importance of education!

  5. so why are they moving to Yaoundé? the cradle of the Beti civilization and a franco region? they don’t fear for their lives anymore? or the so called genocide was just a joke? ah ah they can’t even be true to their words, if you don’t want the strike speak up against it or remain in your regions with your wahala. before being hired they should sign a strike denunciation. only then they can be employed in our regions. double headed snakes

    • You owe a duty to moderate for appropriate language, violence and hate. I struggle to understand why this individual continue to categorise and derogate certain people. This is frankly appalling!

      Pinguiss,

      For your information, there are laws in the land you live in. You cannot go on violating people in the name of animosity. I have monitored you for a while, I have sufficient evidence on you and I will demonstrate systemic pattern. Finally, I have your IP, but for the fact that I am a law abiding individual I’d happily publish it on here and in the dark web. I leave that to the authorities.

  6. join it all basta ! kamerun remain kamerun

    • Those going to school will complete their studies and come to rule those who have decided not to go. If education is costly then you can try ignorance this is another option.

  7. Épée Dipanda

    It’s time to watch SCBC.
    None of our people is moving to Yaoundé. We are all in Buea-Ambazonia, West Africa.
    HE Sisiku must continue naming our streets. Good job with the restoration of the name Victoria.

    • Epee, stop dreaming. Many anglophones are sending their children to study in Yaounde. My younger brother is one of them.