I write to tell the story and ask some key questions which have been on the minds of most people, but who don't have the courage to ask. Without addressing these issues with honesty, we would have sentenced ourselves to living a self-imposed illusion.
I would like to call your attention (as if they don't already know) to the fact that teachers have been for seven months and counting without salaries and you ignor them and prefer to go about preaching and claiming that "your" schools have resumed. In which Cameroon and for which teachers to teach? Permit me ask a few questions:
1. Can you really admit with all honesty that "your" schools have resumed and this academic year will run successfully as planned? Wake up!!
2. How will your teachers send their own children to school should the so-called school resumption even materialize (resumption for2017/2018 academic year has failed in Southern Cameroons)? Is it normal for a teacher with children to go and teach other people's children while his/her own children stay home because they cannot pay fees and buy books?
3. How, if you care to ask, shall your teachers (as if you give a damn) feed themselves and their familis, pay their rent and still come to class to smile and teach as if all is well?
4. You have intentionally kept silent in the face of all these oddities which is a demonstration of the crooked tactics which you have learned from LRC as you are known for robbing soldiers with them. How long do you plan to maintain tight lips as uncertainty looms?
5. Is is not hypocrisy with some ingredient of bad fate for the PEA to withhold teachers' remunerations this long and yet call on these same teachers with threats and intimidation to come and organise morning and evening classes to "cover" the syllabus? Is this not modern day slavery?
6. Have you forgotten so soon the children who have been locked up in jails and who will not be joining their mates to go to school? What about those who have been killed and maimed and their parents in grief? What about those students in areas where their schools have been burnt down? Have you chosen to close your eyes and ears to the cry of the suffering people? "Keeping silent in the face of an oppression means you have chosen the side of the oppressor." Has the Church through the PEA deliberately decided to betray us? If that is the case, make it official by sending it as announcement in churches so that we will know you are no longer with us. "The enemy you know is better than the friend you don't know."
As if to add insult to injury, the PEA goes ahead to perpetrate the same unfathomable and irreversible damage to the education of our children. You choose to shamelessly promote all students who virtually studied nothing in the2016/2017 academic year to the next class without any remorse. According to the PEA academic work coverage plan, teachers are expected to use 2 Months to cover all the work which was supposed to be covered last year and then start the work for 2017/2018 academic year in November. OUTRAGEOUS!!!! INCREDULOUS!! Whom are we deceiving? I can't help but laugh at all this short sightedness which we try to use to justify our immature actions and vehemently refuse to accept the fact that schools have been shut down for this academic year. Permit me ask a few questions again.
1. What criteria has been used to determine that the few francophone students dotted on your campuses qualify to move to the next class? (Ambazonia Education Board save us). Is this not witchcraft in broad day light?
2. If a child can be promoted to the next class who studied virtually nothing and didn't write any qualifying exam, what stops us from taking a child from primary 7 (sorry class 6) to go and seat in for the Advanced Level? What has education been reduced into? A race?
3. How on earth can the syllabus of the GCE I know (God bless the old days) of the Anglosaxon system of education be covered for one year (for A/L) and only two years (for O/L) and students are fit to write the exam? What about the science subjects which need practical lessons for at least two years before the students qualify for the A/L? Who will pay for this intentional irreparable damage being caused to the education of these children? What kind of nation are we envisaging. Remember: "Only a fool can allow his enemy to educate his child" ~ Malcom X.
4. What of a student who did not pass the O/L well in 2015 (maybe had 4 confused subjects without a combination) and went to Lower Sixth with the hope of rewriting the O/L in 2016, studied for less than 3 months and now magically finds him/herself in Upper Sixth to confront the A/L. In which class does this unfortunate student REALLY belong? Form 5, Lower Sixth or Upper Sixth? Is this not Academic Genocide?
5. Has the Church (through the PEA) chosen the side of the oppressor? Has the PEA been so compromised that it is willing to substitute its prestigious Anglosaxon academic system, so envied and respected by all especially francophones, for drudges handed down from LRC? How can the Church and its educational institutions so easily cow to external pressure to the extend that it can no longer differentiate EDUCATION from SCHOOLING?
6. May you be reminded that the forceful school resumption game you are playing is over before you have even started? Let us be ready to accept the humiliation when ever these mistakes we make turn around to slap us in the face.
Send those few francophone children home and save whatever iota of dignity the PEA still has left. LRC is making deperate moves to drown whatever heritage We have and hold. We can fight off this enemy if we refuse to play his losing game. Our children deserve better. Southern Cameroonians deserve better. And we shall get it.
Teacher of the PEA