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CATTU Petitions PM Against ‘Genocide’ In Anglophone Schools 

By Chris Mbunwe

The Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union, CATTU, has forwarded a petition to the Prime Minster, Philemon Yang and the Minister of Secondary Education, Louis Bapes Bapes, to stop the deployment of Francophone student-teachers to teach English in Anglophone and Francophone Schools. The National Executive Council of CATTU met in Bamenda recently and described the deployment of Francophone student-teachers to teach English in Anglophone schools as a calculated ‘genocide’on the English subsystem of education.

The executive members of CATTU observed that, about 80 percent of the student-teachers from ENS and ENSET Bambili, currently carrying out teaching practice on the field, are Francophones. These student-teachers, the CATTU executive said, are forced to teach Anglophones in English, a language they do not master. The resolutions signed by the National Executive Secretary General of CATTU, Wilfred Tassang Fombang; observed that the student-teachers neither master the subject matter, nor the language of instruction.

This act, he averred, misleads the learners and delays the progress of the classroom teacher. The CATTU Scribe further explains that this action taken by the ENS authorities is, “at variance with the 1998 Law on education, which recognises two subsystems of education, with English and French as languages of instructions. Nowhere in the Law is it stated that pidgin and Franglais are alternative languages of instruction,” the petition states. Tassang argues that the ongoing exercise will discourage learners from key subjects, such as; Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geology, among others.

While calling on the strict respect of the Law, CATTU holds that all Francophone student-teachers should be allowed to practise in French, according to the French subsystem of education. CATTU also resolved that the Minister of Secondary Education should ensure that; “Teachers of English expression earlier posted to schools in Francophone Regions be redeployed to Anglophone Regions, otherwise, the purpose of their training is defeated.” According to Tassang, if this trend of events is not halted by the Minister, at the end of the three months teaching practice, these teachers would have “murdered” innocent children. 

“This is nothing short of genocide and if the Minister fails to do his job, we shall mobilise parents, teachers and students to demonstrate until the situation is redressed. Enough is enough!” Tassang stated. He said their investigation pushed them to meet the Director of ENS, Prof Bame Nsamenang, who “told us that the issue in ENS and the University of Bamenda, UBa, is political and very delicate.”  “Our question has been that the Higher Teachers Training College was created to train teachers of the English subsystem of education; why should they flood the place with Francophones?” 

CATTU’s National Executive Council, NEC, forwarded copies of their resolutions to the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang and the Ministries concerned. On the out-of-station allowances owed GCE Makers, Tassang said teachers were only paid 50 percent and if the remaining 50 percent is not paid, they will have no other option than to “Call on teachers to boycott the 2015 marking exercise, until the arrears are paid! The Union, hereby, informs the GCE Board that, following this bad faith, the Board will have to give definite guarantees that out-of-station allowances shall, henceforth, be paid on the spot as obtained before.”

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