Good understanding between Parent Teachers’ Associations and school officials is determinant to the execution of projects.
Despite the bickering between most school officials and Parent Teachers’ Associations, PTAs in most parts of the country, the situation in the North West Regional capital is different. About 70 per cent of school authorities in Bamenda say their relations with PTAs are friendly. An example is that of Government Bilingual High School, GBHS Bamenda Down town, where the PTA is bent on making teaching and learning conducive.
The PTA counts several achievements to its credit, including the construction of 39 classrooms and other administrative blocks, equipment of laboratories, payment of bonuses to teachers, among others. Generally speaking, the PTA spends about 1.2 million FCFA on paying staff and about 2 million FCFA on employees who render extra services. According to the Principal of GBHS Bamenda Down town, Nkwenti Patrick, the PTA has been doing a great job to enable the school to meet the increasing enrolment of about 3,300 students.
The money comes from 10,000 FCFA PTA levy paid yearly by each student, in addition to the normal school fee of 7,500 FCFA for the first cycle and 22,500 FCFA for the second cycle. The school administration hardly intervenes in the day-to-day activities of the PTA as its budget is managed by the parents themselves.
Despite all the efforts of the PTA, the school still needs more classrooms, lacks a playground and sports infrastructure, given that the school is located on a slope in a stony area. However, the Principal remains optimistic that the PTA will do more as the years go by. He used the opportunity to call on students and teachers of his institution to work harder and improve the results of last year.