Gov’t assuages teachers to avert strike

 By Doh James Sonkey

Teachers in nursery, primary, secondary, high schools and universities have been reassured that their documents are treated as they come in. The reassurance was given last September 28, 2023 during a joint press conference granted by the Minister of Communication and Government Spokesperson, Rene Emmanuel Sadi and six other Ministers.

He was accompanied by the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education and Chancellor of Academic Orders, Prof Jacques Fame Ndongo, the Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Gregoire Owona, the Minister of Basic Education, Prof Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, the Minister of Secondary Education, Prof. Nalova Lyonga and the Minister of the Public Service and Administrative Reforms, Joseph Le.

Seven ministers addressing teachers’ issues at a press conference in Yaounde

In his preliminary statement, Minister Rene Sadi recalled that it was in 2022 that a teachers strike paralyzed the school year and the President of the Republic, H.E Paul Biya instructed government to implement a number of measures. The Members of government met to present the state of advancement as concerns the putting in place of the required measures.

Minister Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa said ‘‘we monitor each week the implementation of those resolutions. As of this date, we do not have documents delaying in the office. Since 2020 we have the details of all payments. We have never neglected any of the teachers worry. The Minister revealed that 6,804 files were treated in 2020, 13,878 in 2021, 27,624 in 2022 and already 33002 in 2023 when the year is still to come to an end.’’

On what the situation is on the ground when it comes to Secondary Education, Prof  Nalova Lyonga said, ‘‘the number of persons attending school increased tremendously. Cameroonians want good education and are receiving good education. Distant education is enabling us to reach out to those who are not in the classrooms. Prof Nalova Lyonga decried that “We frown at those teachers who are receiving salaries without teaching on claims of insecurity.”

According to her statistics, 21,102 secondary school teachers who were receiving two thirds of their salaries have received full payment, worth over FCFA 49 billion. The housing allowance of 9,925 teachers have been paid. As concerns advancement decisions, 69,463 have been validated, out of the over 70,000 earmarked for the first phase. She added that 3,701 files of family allowance have been treated and payment issued.

Prof Fame Ndongo said ‘‘teachers are trained in Cameroon universities. When results are known, the lists are deposited at regional and central services of the ministry for their matricules. There is the government will to organize the National Forum on Education and it is only last July 2023 that documents from Basic and Secondary Education teachers were deposited at the Ministry of Higher Education. Financing of Education, the specificity of the English sub system of education will be discussed at the forum.’’

The Higher Education boss added that “working documents for the forum since 2019 have become outdated and there is need for them to be updated and hand to the Prime Minister, Head of Government for final approval.’’

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