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Thursday, February 13, 2020

Speech: Paul Biya no longer convinces teachers

While some teachers welcome the remarks made by the Head of State, others await concrete action.

The Head of State, Paul Biya, addressed youth on February 10, 2020, on the occasion of the celebration of the 54th edition of the National Youth Day. 

In his speech, the President of the Republic spoke of the cases of violence which have been in the headlines in recent days in schools. He notably mentioned the murder of Boris Kevin Njomi Tchakounté, professor of mathematics at the Lycée Classique de Nkolbisson in Yaoundé. 

“Before I conclude, I cannot but evoke a recent event which has upset our consciences: the murder, in Yaoundé, of a young math teacher by one of his students. This barely believable act speaks volumes about the excesses of our societies. I appeal to parents, men of religion and teachers so that, thanks to the education they provide, such facts cannot happen again. I also ask you to reflect on what happened, to measure its seriousness and to make a commitment to never commit such acts, ”said Cameroonian number one. 

This speech by Paul Biya did not convince Roger Kaffo, president of the National Autonomous Syndicate of Secondary Education (SNAES). “We are no longer at the stage where we treat ailments with speeches. The President of the Republic spoke of the issue of violence in the school environment, but I remained thirsty because he did not propose any solution in this direction. We have been waiting for the organization of a national debate on this issue for years, "he said in the columns of the daily Le Jour edition of February 12, 2020.

For Jacques Bessala Ngono, the president of the Collective of Indignant Teachers of Cameroon, it is, on the contrary, a gesture of appeasement of the President of the Republic vis-à-vis the educational family. 

"The reaction of the President of the Republic comes once again to disavow the Minister of Secondary Education, who since the murder of our colleague, has never sent a letter of condolence to the family. This reaction to the issue of violence in schools can also be interpreted as a sign of appeasement given the frustrations that teachers have been experiencing in recent days, ”he said. 

Like his colleague from SNAES, the president of the Collective of Indignant Teachers believes that a meeting must be organized which will bring together the entire educational community. “But the reality is that we are awaiting political decisions to improve our working conditions. Schools must be secure. We are awaiting the organization of a national forum on education and we are also awaiting responses on the particular status of the teacher, ”maintains Jacques Bessala Ngono, in the columns of the newspaper.