Education And Vocational Training : PM Instructs Concerned Ministers On Ensuring Satisfactory School Year

Hereunder is a press release following Cabinet meeting of Thursday 28 September 2023.

Under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, His Excellency Joseph Dion Ngute, a Cabinet Meeting was held on Thursday 28 September 2023 at 10am in the auditorium of the Prime Minister's Office, attended by Ministers of State, Ministers, Ministers  Delegate and Secretaries of State.
The following items featured on the agenda: 
1.    Statement by the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education on "measures taken to ensure the success of the 2023-2024 academic year";
2.    Statement by the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training on
"preparations andprospects for the 2023-2024 training year";
3.    additional reports from the Ministers of Basic Education and Secondary Education on the start of the 2023-2024 school year and short-term prospects;
4.    Statement by the Minister of Public Health on "measures taken and those envisaged to curb the emergence and/or spread of epidemics in education milieus' 
5.    Miscellaneous.
At the end of the Head of Government's introductory remarks, the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education, indicated that the 2023-2024 academic year would begin on 2 October 2023 , and would follow the new Higher Education Orientation Law, promulgated by the Head of State on 25 July 2023. This law introduces three major innovations. The first is the advent of an entrepreneurial university, seen as a centre for the production of goods and a lever for growth. Secondly, it establishes a National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission, which will contribute to the labelling of the teaching provided. Finally, it classifies private higher education institutions, with the aim of making them more competitive and efficient.
Among the preparatory activities underway in higher education institutions, the Minister of State highlighted pre-registration and enrolment, orientation days, and the organisation of entrance examinations into professional schools.
In terms of academic progress, it was reported that 13 new establishments will be operational at the Universities of Bertoua, Ebolowa and Garoua. These universities will also benefit from a special recruitment of 450 lecturers over a period of 3 years, during which, major developments will also take place in the construction of their respective campuses.
Finally, the Minister of State announced the effective commissioning of the 10 University Digital Development Centres built in the State Universities and at the Cameroon-Congo Inter  State University. These modern infrastructures will help to increase the number of distance learning courses on offer, in addition to in-person teaching.
Speaking after him, the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training began by sharing the innovative funding mechanisms for this sub-sector; recently defined by Government, including the restoration of the apprenticeship tax. He pointed out that the decision taken by the President of the Republic to reduce the cost of vocational training to CFAF 50,000 had enabled many young people to access public vocational training centres.
For the 2023-2024 training year, activities will begin on Monday 16 October 2023, with the  introduction of evening classes as a special feature. The training programme will focus on a number of areas, such as (a) career guidance; (b) active teaching; (c) compulsory work placements; (d) skills assessments, which will include evaluations.
The outlook for vocational training is based in particular on updating the regulatory framework and continuing to implement cooperation projects with technical and financial partners.
In his statement, the Minister of Basic Education reported a nationwide attendance rate of 86.26% for teachers and 71.37% for pupils since the start of the 2023-2024 school year. In terms of teaching, nearly 66.10% of lessons to be taught are already available.
For the specific cases of the North West and South West Regions, the timid atmosphere  observed during the first two weeks of the new school year, due to security threats, has improved considerably, thanks to the palliative measures that have been taken.
The outlook for the basic education sub-sector includes, among other things, the rehabilitation of buildings in certain disaster-stricken schools, the continuation of efforts to provide schools with a minimum package, and stepping up the fight against kidnappings. Moral and civic values will also be promoted in schools, in order to consolidate peaceful living together.
In the same vein, the Minister of Secondary Education presented the administrative and financial activities carried out in the build-up to the start of the new school year. New government schools  were established, upgraded, or opened. Budget allocations were also made for the rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructure. As part of the granting of State subsidies to private education establishments and schools, arrears for the 2022 financial year were paid to the tune of CFAF 392 million 539 thousand 797. The list of beneficiaries of the overall budget of CFAF 2 billion 107 million 406 thousand 203 for 2023 was published.
With regard to the start of the new school year in the secondary education sub-sector, the...



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