South West : Encouraging School Attendance

School attendance has been on the rise though battle-drawn areas remain no-go zones.

As a corollary to the socio-political crisis hitting the North West and South West Regions since 2016, education has remained the weeping child. Its woes include suffering from lock-downs, physical attacks on pupils, students and teachers, maiming and killing school goers, burning of infrastructures and outright threats on educational activities.
To better monitor the situation of school attendance one month into school resumption for the 2021-2022 academic year in the South West Region, experts of the Regional Delegation of Basic Education have mapped out the area into geographical green, yellow and red zones. The green stands for fertile school attendance without hindrances, the yellow portrays where school attendance is occasionally acceptable and the red zones are where there is no schooling activity of any kind.
Education is highlighted as a full-impact absorbing sector of the socio-political upheaval. Most of the grievances aired in the early days of the crisis were centred on teaching and learning needs. The slate was filled from the tertiary and secondary down to basic education. Government’s implementation plan to satisfy the demands from professionals of education borrowed from the pace of the Major National Dialogue held in Yaoundé from 30 September to 4 October, 2019.
Flowing from the exigency, a compendium of Government action was unveiled during the last visit of the Prime Minister, Head of Government to Buea (21 through 24 September, 2021) whereby major requirements of education have been fulfilled. Action has been recorded as having been completed by December, 2016, concerning the language of instruction and acute shortage of teachers in public basic and secondary schools in rural areas. The dearth of Anglophone teachers in the technical and industrial domains, sciences and French was addressed and the recruitment of 1,000 bilingual teachers specialized in Science and Technology was completed in June, 2017.
With many of the needs having been fulfilled and a few others in the process, 177 Secondary and High Schools out of 421 functioned in the South West Region last academic year. In terms of enrollment, 85,829 students attended the 2020-21 school year compared to 62,304 in 2019. The students were taught by 6,872 teachers.
 

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