By Yusinyu Omer in Yaoundé
This is contained in a text she signed on March 29 2022 and delivered to the school around mid April, demanding all the students to quit the school without making provisions for the students to pursue their studies to the end.
Just weeks later after the suspension of the school, the Minister in another text emphasized on the rights to education, especially for female students. In the press release, the Minister said “The dismissal of girls found pregnant in schools is against the government policy of keeping all students in school without discrimination. It is also contrary to the government’s policy of promoting gender equality and preventing the dismissal of vulnerable students. It has caused girls to drop out of school”.
School officials need to allow confirmed pregnant students to continue with school activities until the 26th week of pregnancy after which she may request to be placed on maternity leave. School officials should also authorize pregnant students to return to school after giving birth, she added.
Elin Martinez, senior children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch in a statement said “More African governments are taking stronger actions to support the rights of girls to education but many girls still have to fight against enormous government-imposed barriers that deny them their right to education and make schools turn their backs on them when they most need support”.
Now that these children are just weeks away from writing their end of year examinations and the minister has closed the school, without making provisions for the students to pursue their studies to the end, is that in line with government’s policy of keeping all students in school without discrimination?
Asonganyi Charles is a parent in the nation’s capital and this is what he had to say. “I want to thank the minister for that move. I believe all these children have equal rights to education and dismissing one and keeping the other to continue with his education is discriminatory”.
He equally condemned the minister’s move of closing a school towards the end of the year. ” I think that move by the Minister is wrong. To me, closing a school comes at the end of the academic year so that students start looking for where to continue with their studies in the next academic year”.