Cameroon Says Students and Teachers Defy Separatists School Lockdown

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – VOA | Authorities in Cameroon said at least 70,000 schoolchildren and their teachers have returned to classrooms this year in the troubled western regions. The schools had been abandoned due to threats from English-speaking rebels, who see them as an arm of the French-speaking-majority’s rule.

Fourteen-year-old Clementine Fua is spending a holiday in Yaoundé with her uncle. Fua said this year, she braved threats from separatists and successfully went to school in her hometown Njinikom, in the English-speaking Northwest region. Fua said separatists deprived her of education for three years.

“It is good for everyone to go to school so they can have the knowledge,” Fua said. “We struggled through the crisis. When we were going to school there were gunshots, we ran and we came back (to school) by God’s grace. God helped us. We wrote the First School Leaving Certificate peacefully.”

Cameron’s First School Leaving Certificate and Common Entrance Examinations qualify primary students for secondary school studies.

Cameroon’s ministries of basic and secondary education said Fua is one of 70,000 students who returned to more than 400 re-opened schools this year in the Northwest and Southwest regions.

Wilfred Wambeng Ndong is the highest government official in charge of basic education in the Northwest.

He reports that the number of children who took their First School Leaving exams this year increased dramatically.

“Last year we had 12,786 candidates who sat the First School Leaving and Common Entrance,” Ndong said. “And this year, we have 27,128, meaning that the number almost doubled.”

Ngwang Roland Yuven is in charge of secondary education in the Northwest region. He said the number of kids taking secondary school exams also increased.

“This year, the figure moved from the 13,000 of last year to 22,482 candidates,” Yuven said. “The examinations were conducted in a hitch-free manner thanks to the strict and committed follow-up by security. The success also came about as a result of the determination and resilience of parents and the candidates themselves who defied all challenges to ensure that they participated.”

Yuven said the success recorded this year might motivate parents to send their children back to school, despite continued threats from separatist militants.

The separatists attacked or set fire to more than 200 schools between 2017 and 2019, and nearly all schools in the North- and Southwest regions shut down, as teachers left their jobs due to insecurity.

Nji Samuel Kale is education secretary of schools owned by the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, or the PCC. He said everyone involved — students, parents, teachers and security forces — has shown great commitment to making sure the schools stay open.

“We want to thank the community for the strong mobilization they carried out to ensure that the schools reopened,” Kale said. “The community and the Christians helped us run the schools. The teachers, we must attest, they have been enduring a lot. They have shown a lot of resilience. We are praying that unfortunate incidents should not occur again so that the children should have education.”

The separatists launched their rebellion in 2017. According to the United Nations, more than 3,000 people, including soldiers and police, have been killed since the violence in the regions began.

Check Also

Hate crime against gay man from Cameroon case dismissed

The Olympian | A hate crime case in Seattle involving a gay man from Cameroon …

21 comments

  1. If there is something this avoidable situation has proved beyond doubt. It is the extreme nativity of our so called university professors brainwashed with fictitious ideas to remain subordinates. one good example is professor ayangwe, listening to him on the 18th of this month on a program hosted by a Nigerian professor. I had the impression he was living on another planet. responding to the following question posed by one caller,(why are you fighting for a foriegn identity instead of defending an African identity), response we can not just push colonization aside, not everything about it was bad.can we IMMAGINE a Chinese, Indian or Iranian professor making the same statement?

    • Oh, yes, I have been to India and in fact Indians are some of the most intellectually westernised people. What Ayangwe is saying is that this is part of history, it shapes our values and puts us unfortunately on the present path. Biya is fighting to maintain French hegemony in Africa, to francophonise anglophones, which is a western ideology and construct. By default, the war lines are drawn by colonialism. If Biya symbolised Africaness we will be for him. Remember Swahili is not a pure African language, it is the Pidgin English of East Africa, born from Africans mixing with Arabs. History changes the course of human existence; we must adapt with change to progress. African-Americans are Americans because of slavery, that can’t be changed, but can be used constructively to their advantage.

  2. EYALLOW,,,, you are absolutely correct that India has some the most Anglo americanised àleads in the world who invest time trying to mimic Britain.but I do not see one of them saying, not everything in the brutal occupation of India by Britain was bad,do you?but this is what professor ayangwe openly said.if we remain calm and a bit detached from the situation, thinking calmly and rationally.does it not make sense to oppose an African identity to the attempt to transform us to French copycats? Would it not be more wise and thoughtful as an approach? Your claim that kiswahili is some sort of East African Pugin is wrong. Yes there are some Arabic words in the language but the structure is purely African.

    • We can even decide to purge the language of all Arabic and English words replacing with words from other African languages. for example the word chimurenga which means revolution in shona could be inserted in kiswahili with the same meaning.do not forget that English language and French also have many foreign words.but this approach weakens a culture, the approache used in North Korea seems to be more rebust because it preserves cultural authenticity.once a new object is created, our linguist will have the responsibility to give it a name using our own imagination without ever trying to divert the name from that of the objects inventor.for example a plane is called eh bang Kang in Metta meaning the flying object.

  3. Instead of allowing others to invade influence and weaken our identity transforming us to cultural hybrides. We should invest time to preserve, improve and modernise our culture and identity. The Chinese have already send and object to planet Mars using thier language. Do not forget that after British occupation some English words entered mandarin but were purged by Chinese linguist
    .are African Americans Americans? if we go by evidence then the answer is no. The Caucasian race owns land, industry and the military in America and African Americans nothing. So in what way are they Americans? Instead of changing their names to African names, picking and African language as thier language, recapturing thier identity which constitutes the base of economic cooperation.they did the opposite.

  4. @BAH ACHO Your comments concerning this conflict have never been balanced since I started reading your write-ups in this forum.U should start by asking Biya why he declared war on Africans who have denied francophonisation.Why should there be war in Cameroon becos Southern Cameroonians have denied francophonisation? Is it by force? Biya said it,in Lyon in 2019,that he has tried to francophonise anglophones but it has failed.Why don’t u ask Biya why he declared war on anglophones becos of a foreign identity that he wants to impose on anglophones?If u don’t have something to say, just stay quiet and watch how we will resist francophonisation.Now,whether we decides to institute an African language in our country (Ambasonia) later after our independence.That would be a decision for us to make.

    • KONGOSSA,,,, well it depends on what you consider as a balanced point of view.if we look at things in a calm rational cold blooded way.we can say without possibility of doubt that the decesion to take arms against mvodo biya was a very onwise irrational one because you were never going to win remember what I wrote on this forum in the biginning.i said looking at the regions geography with Nigeria and EQUITORIAL GUINEA on the other side. you basically have no chance once you are blocked from there.i said This before the arrest of your president sissiku ayuk.nigeria was never going to support such an attempt and thier actions prove this. any attempt to fight a superior adversary on the same ground is suicide. Thousands death for nothing?

  5. @BAH ACHO….U raised an issue of Prof Anyangwe fighting to defend a foreign identity.I replied u,by saying that u are not balanced,becos,u have never castigated Biya,on this forum,for declaring war becos he want to impose francophonisation on anglophones.French is a foreign identity isn’t it?
    In your reply,u have leave the issue u raised,and u are now telling me that we cannot win the war becos French Cameroon is a superior force.Go and tell that to the birds.U said that 4 years ago.I was thinking that by now,French Cameroon would have won the war,since Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea is in support of French Cameroon.But we are in the fourth year and counting.The fifth year will come and meet us in this war and u will still say the same thing.

    • Kongossa

      Please tell us if the below point of view from Bah Acho is a balanced point of view or not:

      “if we look at things in a calm rational cold blooded way.we can say without possibility of doubt that the decesion to take arms against mvodo biya was a very onwise irrational one because you were never going to win remember what I wrote on this forum in the biginning.i said looking at the regions geography with Nigeria and EQUITORIAL GUINEA on the other side. you basically have no chance once you are blocked from there.i said This before the arrest of your president sissiku ayuk.nigeria was never going to support such an attempt and thier actions prove this. any attempt to fight a superior adversary on the same ground is suicide. Thousands death for nothing?”

  6. KONGOSA,,,, does castigating biya change anything in the equation? is French a foreign identity? Yes, should we oppose it with another foreign identity? no, we should oppose it with an authentic African identity.let me repeat again, the decision to take up arms against a superior adversary was very unwise because no matter how long the confrontation last,there is only going to be one winner, and it’s biya.do you see any other outcome? if so base on what? biya’s guaranteed victory is base on SUPIRIOR military equipment. am I being dogmatic here?

  7. Bah Acho. Did you finish building the dam you promised in 2018? You argued that it so easy to acquire land Title.

    • AMBAMAN,,,,yes i obtained the land tittle but could not build the dam because of the children sponsored by irresponsible diasporans to terrorise people. They even come to the farm asking money to support their madness with force. I really doubt if those in the diaspora supporting this madness know how much damage they have caused?

  8. All these Bulu Beti terrorists and their website are only concerned in distorting the truth while their rotting country burns as long as their tribal warlord is president. Shame on you MR webmaster. You are a Disgrace to education and Dr hood.

  9. what happens now is if an anglophone sleeps and have a bad dream he will say is Biya. we should not forget no president in the world will seat and watch mbanga smokers try to separate his country. idiots in the diaspora have brain washed youths at home to kill and kidnap their parents. we no more hear the words atanga nji boys. it shows anglophones are understanding who the true enemy is. Dialogue have been called but ambafools are not satisfied. they say they want a foreign body like USA or UK. let me ask u ambafools. do you think USA or UK can call an African country to come and solve their problems?. we are the ones belittling ourselves. At the time Africa is trying to unit as one no one in his right senses will support that ambazonia madness. NW and SW where far better before this shit

  10. @BAH ACHO Can u tell me what would have changed had we opposed Biya with an African identity,say Bali? Are u saying that Biya would not have declared the war if we had opposed him with,say Bali identity?Would there have been no war? would Biya negotiate peace,if we oppose him with Bali Identity? how has your castigation of Prof.Anyangwe changed the equation? let me repeat again in case u did not listen,the decision for Biya to declare war on SC was very unwise becos I see no winner becos it will end on the table of negotiation.Tibor Nagy have said it.
    I did’nt know that winning a war is base on superior military equipment.Why did the US not defeat Vietnam,since winning a war is based on superior military equipment? U are not making any sense.Why did France packed out of Algeria?

    • You really have time for this people.
      Bah and the other bots here know that nothing apart from their stay in power will please them. Enough of the no-nsense
      We have rejected frnacophonisation. Period.
      We would rather split peacefully but we are happy to fight if you insist.
      Even if it takes 20 years.
      We will leave and larepublique will pay reparations

  11. @BAH ACHO Can u explain to me,why the British released Jomo Kenyatta from jail and granted Kenya’s independence after the Mau Mau resistance?did Britain not have all the artillery? Anybody winning a war does not approach his oppenent for peace negotiation.The fact that Biya’s gov’t have approached Sisiku for negotiation is an indication that Biya is losing the war.A person winning a war stands on the position of strength and cannot call his opponent for negotiation becos he knows he is winning on the ground.Do I need to tell u all this? Do u think that for SC to win the war they have to kill all the military in Ambasonia first? If that’s your definition of winning,then u need to go back and do your research.Next year will come and pass and we will still be in this war.

  12. Unfortunately, the heinous dictator Biya has paralysed his blind followers with fear. You dear not critcise him. He is God in diapers. Cameroon’s only hope. So they turn around and heap blame on people who because of their suffering turned to unpleasant guns to change their destiny. Biya’s terrible legacy does not only affect Anglophones, the entire banana LRC is on its knees; cronique corruption, poisonous elitism, nepotism, tribalism, etc. Any person with a reasonable mind, anyone who understands that we have just one life to live should’nt accept this madness. As Kongossa has put it, if the present divide arose because graffi people wanted to for e.g. project their African culture, which in a sense is what it is, Biya…an African French stooge, would have fought to Francophonise them.

    • Keumkum Pass Garri

      Ernest, as you know all people from the North West and South West do not have a common view.

      Cameroon in 2016 is not different from Cameroon before 1999. No one threatened you with death for going to school. You got your education from Cameroon and moved out of Cameroon for further studies. Now from the comfort of your home in Sweden you are encouraging runaway prisoners and armed robbers to kill any child or teacher that attempts to go to school. Shame on you! Any person that promotes this amba madness.

      If Cameroon can host CHAN and CAN while on its knees, imagine what Cameroon can do while standing up!

      keep talking about Biya meanwhile the fight is Between Ambazombie idiots and Wise Blacklegs. This fight has nothing to do with Biya! We the victims of amba must ervenge!!

  13. Kumkum Pass Garri

    Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and his cohorts must pay for the 4 years of education they stole from the children of the North West and South West with their lives or offspring! These idiots will never walk as free people in the one and only and ever shall be The Republic of Cameroon!

    Only an absolute fool can claim that the first step to building a productive society is to abolish education for the poor!

    Only an absolute fool can claim that the first step to achieving independence is to sabotage your own economy!

    People are dying of hunger and lack of medication because you stopped them from earning their daily bread yet you claim it is all for their Good?

    Delusional Amba idiots just made Paul Biya a saint even to die hard Ambazombie activists Bareta and Tataw who prefer to kill Sako over Biya!

    • Oh yes, someone will pay but it is not Sisiku.
      It is larepublique for destroying a prosperous country that agreed to unite with them for 50 years now and counting.
      You will have to pay.