South West: School Resumption Spoiled

Schools resumed timidly in the South West Region yesterday January 23, 2017 following the Ministerial Order of last week countering the ghost school syndrome that had kept pupils and students at home for close to two months. News from the various Divisions spoke of grounded activities especially the lack of taxis in the streets, closed stores and claims of fear of the unknown. 

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In Ndian Divisional Headquarters of Mundemba, tract distributors were arrested by the forces of law and order in the early morning of yesterday. In Lebialem, reports talked of deserted schools though some teachers were present in the campuses. In Kumba, Meme Divisional capital, Mr. Fon Ndikum, the Secretary General at the South West Governor's office, toured the various schools accompanied by the Divisional Etat-major and met mainly the teachers. In the cases of bilingual institutions, francophone students were available for classes.

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The administration of the South West now has the task of following up some 398 Secondary, High and Teacher Training Institutions under the Ministry of Secondary Education to resume classes imperatively one of these days. 

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For Basic Education, the task is even greater with 829 Nursery Schools and 350 Primary Schools, (private and public) in the limelight to resume studies. 

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In Buea, Regional Capital of the South West, Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai spent the entire morning of yesterday visiting nine schools, (private and public), the Mile 17 bus station, the Molyko commercial center before settling in his office by noon to receive reports from the various Divisions. While on the field, the Regional boss observed with dismay that, school resumption was at snail pace. For example, at the Bilingual Grammar School Molyko, only 17 Anglophone students were on hand for classes meanwhile the francophone section was receiving lessons as usual, though in less numbers. At the Government Bilingual High School Muea, the scenario was the same.

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The various principals blamed the absence of students from campus on the ghost towns whereby students living in faraway places could not trek to school in the absence of taxis. At the Mile 17 gateway to Buea, Governor Okalia pulled a face at the council authorities who did little to get shops open at the bus station. The Governor finally instructed that such shops, banks and roadside businesses must be open by today.

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