New sections created in Universities, Common Law Division set up at ENAM, fresh in-take of 80 English-speaking legal officials… are among multiple moves taken for better harmony.
As Cameroonians from within and without the national triangle brace up for another opportunity to celebrate their being together regardless of diversity in culture and language, one of the areas worth putting a finger on would be surmounting vices of division and striving to uphold the virtues of concord that the present and future generations need to forge ahead.
Against a backdrop of complaints from teachers trade unions of the Anglo-Saxon sub system of education and Common Law Lawyers on what leaders qualified as the erosion of their values, government has been working tooth and nail to meet genuine claims, although extremism owing to increased radicalisation, is yet to fully subside.
The 46th National Day on May 20, 2018; coincidently placed under the theme, “Cameroonian citizens, let us remain united in diversity and preserve social peace for a stable, indivisible and prosperous Cameroon,” is a perfect occasion to espouse what unites all rather than what separates the nation. Reason why diverse Presidential moves taken to ensure harmony are worth revisiting.
Following complaints of lack of teachers in Anglophone technical schools, the Head of State ordered a special recruitment of 1,000 young bilingual science and technical teachers. The teachers have already been recruited and deployed to all the regions of the country based on expressed needs with the North West and South West having the lion’s share (over 800).
Prior to the fresh recruitment, the Ministry of Secondary Education undertook a census to know who was where and redeployed teachers across the country according to needs. On instructions of the Head of State, the Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences has been created in the University of Buea and the department of English Law in the Universities of Douala, Maroua, Ngaoundere and Dschang similar to that in the University of Yaounde II.
On the weak financial capacity of lay private and confessional schools to measure up in the training of children, the Head of State ordered the setting up of a special fund of FCFA 2 billion to serve as subsidy for concerned schools. Dialogue on other issues that could ensure excellence in the functioning of both the English and French systems of education side-by-side without one crushing the other continues under the chair of Higher Education Minister.
Polishing Up Bi-jurial Functioning
Against a backdrop of lawyers’ claims on what they qualified as the marginalisation of the Common Law, the Prime Minister, Head of Government, on December 22, 2016 set up an Adhoc Committee charged with examining proposals for solutions to the concerns of aggrieved lawyers. Fruits of the ensuing dialogue between the stakeholders are visible.
For instance, the President of the Republic instructed the amendment of the organisation and functioning of the Supreme Court with provisions for the inclusion of the Common Law section. On April 9, 2018, President Paul Biya equally signed a decree reorganising the structure and functioning of the School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM).
Prior to that, a Common Law section was created in the school on the instructions of the Head of State who equally ordered the recruitment of Anglophone teachers at the Magistracy and Registry Divisions of ENAM. A special recruitment of English-speaking pupil Judicial and Legal Officers as well as Court Registrars over a period of four years based on quotas has been ordered. Some 80 of them were recruited last year and are currently undergoing training.
OHADA Law Now in English
The OHADA law which hitherto existed only in French language has been translated into English on the request of Cameroon. The translated version was published in the Official Gazette on November 24, 2016 and a copy handed over to the Secretary General of the Presidency two days after. The Minister of State; Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals on November, 29, 2016, handed over the copy to the President of the Bar Council.
These and many other measures are aimed at polishing up the functioning of the country’s bi-jurial system for a better and acceptable justice administration. For, indiscriminate justice begets peace and unity that the country needs to attain already identified growth objectives.
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