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GCE Exams: Registrar Instructed To Create Special Centres For Unregistered Candidates 

By Chris Mbunwe

The Minister of Secondary Education, Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe, has instructed the Registrar of the Cameroon GCE Board to, as a matter of extreme urgency, create special registration centres to accommodate candidates who never registered due to one thing or another for the 2017 GCE.

The centres would facilitate the candidates to register and write the exams whose practicals and written parts begin on May 15 and June 12 respectively.

Minister Ngalle Bibehe took the GCE Board Registrar,Ekema Monono, and everyone else aback, May 10, when he declared that following growing concerns, all those who did not register should be allowed to register within these days and special centres created to accommodate them.

Ngalle Bibehe gave the instructions during a working session at the conference room of the Northwest Regional Delegation of Secondary Education after visiting some schools in town to evaluate and follow up the organisation of the end-of-year course examinations for 2017.

The declaration was an embarrassment to Monono who talked tough vis-a-vis the views of principals pleading that candidates who were not opportuned to register be given a chance to do so.

Monono responded that the principals were bringing disorder and that the computers would not receive such candidates.
“We should be orderly in our thoughts and there is no room for such candidates,” Monono said.

However, Bibehe told Monono that he was handing down instructions for him to execute and follow up.

Bibehe said the candidates must not put on uniforms before being allowed to enter the examination rooms.

He further instructed that candidates who are boarders could decide to reside with parents or guardians in the neighbourhood and go for the examinations on a daily basis.

“These candidates have the choice of staying in the dormitory or with their parents during the time of writing the exams,” the Minister said.

To the worries raised by Catholic Education principals and their Education Secretary that the exams this year and certificates are not going to be credible because the students were not adequately prepared for the examinations, Bibehe said he was embarrassed that Reverend Sisters and Priests were saying what was in sharp contrast with the last press release of the Episcopal Conference of the Bishops.

“Do we have two Episcopal Conference of Bishops?” the Minister asked, “how can Bishops say the doors of their schools are open and you are now telling us that you are not prepared for the exams and you never knew your schools are going to be accommodation centres?.

No Begging!

On the credibility and level of preparedness by the students, Bibehe said some of the students had been attending schools elsewhere and revising their notes, from the day he declared that there would be no blank academic year in Cameroon in 2017.

He advised parents not to sacrifice their children’s education for political gains. “Candidates who are prepared will write, whether they were out of school since December 2016 or not. What we know is that the exams will remain credible,” the Minister said.

He added, “What did you do to encourage them to come to school? You sat quiet and were respecting ghost town calls and misinformation from those who had nothing to do with the Ministry of Secondary Education intoxicating your minds this academic year has been declared blank.

On my part, I postponed the registration of all end-of-course exams four times and when you heard we have maintained the dates, you start begging. There is no time for me to listen to begging songs now.”

Confusion Over Security

As concerns security, Northwest Governor, Aldolph LeleL’Afrifque, assured the Minister and education stakeholders that all measures had been taken to ensure hitch-free exams.

He, however, said “I cannot assure you that it will be possible for all the GCE, BAC centres to have police or gendarmes. As such, we have to be vigilant and play the role of security forces.”

The Governor said those who are scared that ghosts will attack GCE centres are those who know the ghosts and live with the ghosts.

“I don’t think men of God, priests or Christians should be afraid of ghosts. Others are calling for troops to be withdrawn; others are calling for deployment or reinforcement of troops, is this normal? Others even say men in uniform shall not appear on campus; that they should disguise. So, will you tell the ghost to disguise too?”Lele said.

School authorities complained that most forces of law and order sent to their schools, especially those guarding Government Technical High School Bamenda are always sleeping at night.

The administration promised to redress the situation.

The Regional Delegate of Secondary Education, Victor Mombakwet, said the task ahead is daunting but they are mustering courage to overcome the challenges for a hitch-free organisation of end-of-year exams.

Out of the expected 180,000 students that could have registered for the GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, in the Northwest only 40,573 registered.

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