“We don’t have enough teachers… It is really tough. If a teachers gets sick, children risk not receiving lessons” headmistress of Government Bilingual School (GBS) Gp2 Old town-Bamenda.
On day one of the effective resumption of classes for the 2023/2024 school year in this institution, parents were still trooping in to register their children while the few teachers who came were busy giving lessons. School heads who sought anonymity talk of a favourable turn out of pupils after a two week lockdown imposed by separatist fighters since September 4th 2023 official date for the start of the 2023/2024 school year in Cameroon.
At the Government Bilingual School complex, over 600 pupils were present of about 800 targeted this year.
The scenario is almost same in secondary schools with parents and students still rushing to complete registration. At Government Bilingual High School Downtown, the principal affirms the attendance at the morning assembly was overrated compared to the last two years though the students came in assorted wears:
“We had about 1,650 students of 2,000 targeted, everyone is in class receiving lessons. I have told the students to be disciplined, form study groups if they want and strive for the best so that this school could feature among the national best,” Judith Adey principal of GBHS Downtown said.
At GBHS Bamendakwe, children were still loitering on campus, some trying to get benches and others searching for their classrooms. Late registration was top priority and the Principal Estella Awuro Atekwana has assured all is going as planned: “The turnout is quite impressive with close to 2,500 students on campus… During the lockdown, we had maximum 100 children who lived around the school and managed to come. Special alternatives will be implemented to catch up with lessons missed. We’ll occupy all the Saturdays then there will be an extension which will begin this September 19… When we close at 3:30pm, students and teachers who were not in school during the lockdown will push to 5:30pm from Monday to Friday.”
Education officials in the North West region, are targeting over 150,000 children in schools this school year, while being on the watch for the safety of both learners and teachers.