Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo:“Enhance Cooperation With Italian Universities”
Minister of Higher Education
What is the content of the convention that was signed between Cameroon State Universities and Italian Universities?
Two conventions where signed. The first was between Rectors of Italian universities (about 20) and Rectors/Vice Chancellors of all State Universities in Cameroon. They signed a convention which will help enhance cooperation between Italian Universities and those in Cameroon especially in the domain of recognising certificates, improving teaching, scholarships offer, exchange between lecturers and students from both parties in order to improve academic mobility between the universities. Everything went on well and the goal is to strengthen the cooperation between Italian Universities and Cameroonian Universities. Later, there will be specific signing of accords between specific State universities in Cameroon and other specific universities in Italy, in specific fields.
The Minister of Higher Education also signed an accord. What was it all about?
With further instructions from the Head of State, I later signed another convention with a representative from the University of Sienne in Italy. The objective of this convention is to generalise and intensify the teaching of Italian language in schools in Cameroon. As it is already known, the teaching of Italian language is already taking place in some schools in Cameroon such as the Universities of Douala, Yaounde I University, Dschang and Maroua. But it is not generalised like the teaching of the German and Spanish languages as a second language. The convention with the Sienne University will help improve the teaching of the Italian language and permit the sending of many Italian language teachers to Cameroon to teach the Italian language in secondary schools. The convention will also help intensify the learning of the Italian language which is already taking place in State Universities and Higher Teachers Training College. Finally, the convention will enable best Italian language students to obtain scholarship which will permit them to study in Italy and later return to teach the Italian language in Cameroon.
Does it mean the second convention is focused only on the Italian language?
Yes. We want to generalise the teaching of the Italian language in the secondary education sector be it in the Anglophone sub-system of education and the francophone sub-system of education. But we must train teachers in the Higher Education Level such as in all the State Universities who will later teach young Cameroonians in the secondary level. We want Cameroon to have lots of teachers in the Italian language.
Why such conventions only now?
When the President of Italy visited Cameroon last year, I signed a general convention on many issues such as technical, scientific, cultural and higher education. The convention was on a broad scale. We thought it wise to sign another convention which touches a specific area with scientific needs.