Cameroon : Distance Education is the baby of the 2020/2021 School Year

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This is the key announcement, Prof Nalova Lyonga, Minister of Secondary Education, made to the Education Community during the ceremony marking the solemn pedagogic resumption and the official launch of the 2020/2021 school year. On the occasion, all top ranking officials of the Ministry, including the Secretary-General, Fabien Nkot, the Inspector General of Education (IGE), Prof Nsata Awoundja, the Inspector General of Services (IGS), Mr. Akat Fidelis, all Directors and Regional Delegates gathered around the Minister of Secondary Education at Government Bilingual Technical High School Nkolbisson, on Wednesday, 23 September 2020.

As the Education Community braces up for the upcoming school year, the Ministry of Secondary Education had to follow a longstanding tradition which is to  provide both the balance sheet of the ending school year, and the guidelines successfully conduct the upcoming one.

As regards the balance sheet of the 2019/2020 school year, Prof Nsata Awoundja in a keynote presentation browsed through the ending school year which suffered the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and witnessed an unusual upsurge of violence in schools.

Despite this background that could deter the less committed ones, results recorded are worthy of praise. Pedagogic guidance and follow-up of students, students-teachers and teachers, as well as the preparation of official exams were conducted with satisfaction, albeit a few hitches and difficulties.

Notwithstanding the unexpected shutdown of schools on 17 March 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,  the insufficiency of logistics and infrastructure, the lack of cooperation from some private schools principals, and delays in collecting some data, the IGE was proud with the results attained.

In this light, the overall coverage of official syllabi over the said school year stands at 73%, while the hour coverage rate  hovers around 89%, and the unconsolidated success is 63.35%. These efforts shall be sustained and improved during the 2020/2021 school year.

In a protocol-free address, the Minister of Secondary Education hailed the results obtained and acknowledged the Distance Education staff for their commitment in salvaging the school year. It was equally an opportunity for the Secondary Education Boss to thank the Government and all partners for their unrelenting support to the Ministry.

To ensure a smooth conduct of the 2020/2021 school year with  COVID-19-free campuses, Prof Nalova Lyonga disclosed that schools having less or 50 students per class will proceed with the usual class pattern, whereas school with huge enrollment and fewer facilities will adopt a system of shifts wich shall be complemented by Distance Education.

Practically, in these school, classes will be  organised in morning and afternoon shifts with distance teaching sessions in-between. This way students enrolled in the morning shift will continue receiving  teachings away from classes in the afternoon and vice versa.

In addition, the fight against coronavirus in schools premises will step up sustained by the Clean School vision. This justifes the huge consignment of kits, comprising 6 cartons of face masks and 4 cartons and hand sanitizers handed over to each of the ten Regional Delegates of Secondary Education present at the ceremony. Thanks to the appropriate measures adopted to cope with the current health crisis, the Ministry of Secondary Education is set for a smooth back-to-school come October 5, 2020.

*_A. Ngidjol_*

*Celcom/MINESEC*

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