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Untaught Anglophone Students Grapple With GCE Practicals 

By Francis Tim Mbom

Photo used for illustrative purpose

A few students from the Presbyterian Girls Secondary School, St Ann Girls College and Saker Baptist College all in Limbe were among the few Anglophone students that sat-in for the practical session of the General Certificate of Education, GCE, examinations, even though they have not had classes for over five months.

The practical sessions were carried out at GHS and GBHS Limbe.

When The Post got to GHS Limbe a few minutes to 10:00 am, five students of PGSS Limbe were sitting on the verandas of the Laboratory, chatting among themselves and waiting to be ushered into the lab for their practical exams.

When the Divisional Delegate of Secondary Education, Helen Ikundi Njomo passed by and asked if they were just five of them, the students said, “Yes madam.”

The students later told Journalists that 27 of them registered for the Food Science course in their schools.

“But since the strike, some of our mates are carrying out other trades like hairdressing and petty businesses, while others have refused to come and write this year, that they will only write next year,” they said.

The students from PGSS, like their counterparts of Saker, St Ann and other confessional schools have been out of school since November 21, 2016.

Asked if they were confident of succeeding in the exams, they said:

“We have come to write even though we have not been studying; we have not gone to school for a very long time. We have not had any practical lessons. We have just been studying at home without any teacher to guide us…But we have come to try because we know with God, everything is possible…Even though some people say they will write next year, we know, there is hope for us because every disappointment is a blessing.”

But the Principals of GHS Limbe, Ayompe Haddassah and her colleague of GBHS Limbe, Hannah Efeti Monono were upbeat that their institutions have done their best to prepare students for this year’s exams.

Since the eruption of the Anglophone teachers’ strike on November 21, there haven’t been any effective classes in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.

Many thought that because students have not had effective classes for months, it was inauspicious for Government to force them to write the GCE exams, which is an internationally recognised certificate examination.

But Government had insisted that the GCE must be written at all cost. The initial time schedule for the exams was pushed forward on several occasions just to give time for many students to register.

“Well, the attendance is not as expected, but the students are there,” Ikundi Njomo, Fako Divisional Delegate of Secondary Education said.

At GHS Limbe, there were visible signs that the school has not been effective. While students were carrying out their GCE Computer Science practical exams inside the lab, there was a lot of buzzing noise outside from three men, armed with portable lawn mowers, clearing the lawns.

To mitigate any security threat, gendarmerie officers were placed at both centres. Besides, only GHS and GBHS were chosen as the two centres to host all the schools in Limbe for the practical session. GBHS hosted eight schools, while GHS hosted 10 schools.

The two Principals said the GCE Board Registrar had given strict instructions that no Journalists should be allowed to take pictures of the candidates in the examination halls.

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