About Scribbles


  • Dibussi Tande

    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world - Citizen Journalism at its finest!

    SEND ME AN EMAIL

Your email address:


Powered by FeedBlitz

Blogroll

Design


  • Jimbi Media

« Mounting Calls for Release of Jailed Egyptian Blogger | Main | Cameroon Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2006 »

March 05, 2007

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

PAOLO  LAURENT

UNIVERSITY OF BUEA IS NOT A STATE UNIVERSITY, ITS THE STATE OF THE REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN HAVE NO BUSIINESS
IN BUEA. THE MONEY SYPHONED FROM VICTORIA PETROLEUM ILLEGAL EXPLOITATION FOR 30 YRS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH TO BUILD A UB IN EVERY COUNTY IN SOUTHERN CAMEROONS, ALL THESE COLONIAL FRENCH ANTIC SHOULD DO IS RESPECT HISTORY
AND LEAVE SOUTHERN CAMEROONS ALONE,

WE ARE ANGLOSAXONS , AND WE DONT WANT FRENCH INFLUENCE IN OUR CULTURE,
THEY ARE VERY FILTHY IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.

ALL WE NEED IS THE RESTORATION OF OUR DESTROY SOUTHERN CAMEROONS INDEPENDENT
GOVERNMENT, THAT WAY WE CAN BETTER OUR LIFES, OUR SELF, TO HELL WITH THE FRENCH.

Kwensi

Tande,
I salute your courage. Through this piece you have demonstrated that you are not a people-pleaser. This is a very sensitive issue. As a pioneer graduate of UB I know that these half-baked programs are not helping the students prepare for rewarding careers in an increasingly competitive globalized world but are only a perpetuation of a colonial educataional system that trains glorified semi-literates who can not hold their own outside Cameroon.

But we have to put this into context here: the average income of a Cameroonian parent is so low that even the 50,000F CFA fee that is currently levied for degree programs at UB seems astronomical. Cameroon is not a poor country when compared to countries like Cuba which have consistently provided quality education to its citizens and even offered scholarships to foreign nationals over the past decades. What is impeding the government of Cameroon from recognizing that the main resource the country possesses is the dynamism of its youth?

Somehow, I think the students are resisting tuition fee hikes because they see the way the government, through its corrupt practices, wastes resources that could be put to better use in developing a truly quality educational system.
If the government were to demonstrate that it is using resources judiciously the students would understand if at some point the state were to advocate tuition fee increases. Until then the students will resist fee hikes even if it is detrimental to the quality of education they receive in state-run universities.

Furthermore the government, through its legalized cronyism and tribalism, doesn't recognize merit. What incentive is there to pay a lot of money in tuition fees when a less qualified person with connections always gets the best jobs? I admit this is a complex problem that requires careful analysis to to arrive at the best results.

emilio

Yes higher education is necessary and vital to a country but it is not an entitlement.There are costs and benefits and in this era of global competition it is vital to build a first class university so that graduates can compete with others from all over the world.Trying to do this on the cheap is not going to work.The fee increase is necessary and way over due. If you want a college education anywhere in the world is expensive and the money has to come from somewhere.Cameroonians have grown up to think government has some infinite pot of money that is their God given right to have. That is not the case and it is high time they realised that.There is something very seriouly wrong for it to cost more to attend P.H.S Kumba or Saker than UB.Njuema was a Godsend to that university and the threw her out,thats their loss and univesity of Y'de's gain.

Ofori

It was time for someone to detail and analyse this problem in so clear a manner. Those who are paying the price of this sort of short-sightedness are the students.

The need to diversify and modernize UB programs is so pressing that the students union leaders should be call upon to address the issue. In the course of such deliberations, they will then face the question of financing new programs.

Education today is so impotant to each and every child and family that it should be rided of political opinions and the warewardness of the goverment. It is a question of sacrifice - financial on the part of the parents and hardwork on the part of the students. That the goverment has money and refuses to spend it on state universities should be sumounted by those who stand to benefit from the quality education they get if they are ready to pay for.

Little has been heard from parents/guardians on this issue. What do they have to say? If direct consultations of parents were carried out by UB authorities after proper explanation of the merits of higher tuition accompanying professional programs, will they refuse? if they accept, will their children refuse?

M Nje

PAOLO LAURENT,
Thank you for your comments above. We, Southern Cameroonians, are not interested in any Comètes or whatever the French have. We know their hided agenda, to destroy our educational system and have all Southern Cameroonian follow a fail and retarded french educational system. They have tried twice but failed to destroy our GCE examination. Now they want to make another try at the University of Buea through Cometes and specialized French courses in tourism.

We have no desire to do any business or share in their cultural values. We are not poor by any standard. It is fair to say the French educational system is not and will never be desirable to most of us. They should continue and end their business with their colony, La Republique Du Cameroun.

All we need is for La Republique to respect international law and withdraw it`s forces to the colonial boundary it inherited on January 1, 1960. We are capable of running our affairs perfectly. We have done that from 1954 to 1961. We have enough PHD scholars abroad who are longing to help build our public institution, including our educational system as we so desire. Some of them have returned home, to Southern Cameroon, only to be frustrated by La Republique and are now living abroad, some as senior lectures in many universities.

We have 10% of the World`s Oil Reserve in Bakassi, enough timber in Mamfe, access to the sea, good agricultural land all over our territory, an educated population abroad, and many other assets that we can finance any public project in any part of our State. We are capable of providing free university and professional education to 6 million citizens Southern Cameroonians.

So let those programs end on the other side of the Mungo River. What every their apparent “Benefits” are we do not need them. They are a trap to hold us, Southern Cameroonians, in a modern era proxy colonization by the French through La Republique Du Cameroun.

We say NO and NO to them.

Tamfu Jones

50000 CFA is nothing for most parents in Cameroon. They spend far more to send their children to Baptist, Saker, Sasse, PHS, PSS, Sacred Heart, Lourdes, Bali. Further, they spend far more to send their kids to Molyko and Bambili. Remember, they have to provide lodging and feeding allowances to those attending Molyko and Bambili.

What we have here, is a small group of people who use the fee issue as an excuse to advance their political views. Ask were the majority of the striking students come from, and their political views.

The fact of the matter is University education in Cameroon is far cheaper than in any other country in West/Central Africa. Not to talk of South Africa and North Africa. Still Cameroon students in the hundreds attend these schools. Were is that money coming from?

Lets be serious. 50000 CFA is not that much to pay for a university education.

Kwensi

Tamfu,

The costs associated to attending UB add up considerably when you factor in rents and other living expenses. Parents don't only fish out 50, 000F/year.

Also take a close look at those attending Sakar, Lourde's and Sasse. what is the common denominator here? Yes, you got it right they are the children of the rich middle class that has ruined the economy of the country by their corrupt practices. The christian missions have fostered elitism in our society and by so doing jeopardized the fabric of our society by engendering rulership by a select few over the many.

If we want to change Cameroon, we need an eductaional system that provides opportunities for the majority not a classist system. The ruling elite in Cameroon has been there for decades and have offered very few solutions to our problems and their affluent children will not any different either because the snobbery and lavish tastes inculcated into them by their parents. We need a new elite that has imbibed of the everyday existence of the majority of Cameroonian. These people will beter understand the consequences their actions have on the common man. Bottomline is, we do not only need a new educational system but an educational system that is affordably to the majority of the Cameroonian youth not only the children of the rich middle class.

SolShine7

What an interesting post! It's a lot to take in, but that's good. Education is so important.

paolo  laurent

when you say cameroonian
who do you realy mean?
the camerounese, dont identify them selves
in the same call name as us, they dont think as us, they dont like us, they see them selves superior tous, theu call themselves camerounais. an you must call your self southern cameroonian, thats your
identity, the facts as in history books, dtop bunching banana and plantains, the sound and look the same but are not,

bamendaman

Hi Kwensi,
That was a good piece. There are issues here that we are mising. As good and objective as Mr. Tande's points seem to be he has a problem in painting the real picture to Cameroonians. First let us try to determine whether the 50.000frs is fees or registration. If we call it fees then it is too low and I can see with the argument of any real government (and I don't think the government of Cameroon can be called a real government) that that they cannot offer better programs almost for free - to me as tuition 50.000 frs means attending university almost for free. But if we consider it as registration fee then it is exhorbitant. The first problem here is why does the state shy away from being straightfoward and honest to make Cameronians understand that we must pay for quality education. So far as Buea university is concerned the various intepretations of these charges - being fees or not, stem from our anglophone cultural heritage. Anglophones know that fees are paid for education. That is why even today given the difficult times most parents do all they can to send their kids to expensive private schools. Why should parents send children to Sacred heart College Mankon, CPC Bali,etc and pay about 400,000frs a year and then only to start arguing that 50.000frs is too much for tuition in Buea? The reasons are simple. First let me start with the government. Given the governments inability to run any effective organizational structure be it a public corporation of even the central government itself, they have not been able to come up with any cost effective ways to organize school programms at affordable rates to parents. Tuition is very expensive even in America but yet, even illegal immigrants go there and are able to combine low paying jobs with schooling and then still succeed. What makes it so difficult for the university authorities or government to fashion out a tuition system that can break a three year degree program into courses that are taken and paid for accordingly? I am sure most commenting on issues like this would know that a regular undergraduate program needs 120 credits for graduation in the US. There are obviously special courses for the different degrees. The bottom line here is that a maximum of about five years is given for a student to complete a degree program. That is because for a course to be considered valid for a degree program it must not have been taken more than five years ago. However, the point here is that students pay separately for each course they take. Courses are equally taken based on affordabilty. That is if the university cannot afford to pay a professor for that course the university suspends the course for the time being. Except for core courses which have multiple substitutes anyway, suspended course can be taken in any other university that is capable of offering it during long summer holidays or otherwise. Again during these holidays, a student wherever he finds himself can enroll for a summer program and take a course or two in any of the recognized state or private universities to compliment his degree requirements in his regular university. Why is University of Dschang being a state university so different frm Buea, Yaounde, Soa etc? Why can't a student transfer from Soa and enroll in Buea and just smoothly pick up from where he left off in Soa? What is it so complex or difficult that these university degrees which have already been broken into courses cannot be paid for individually so that students' parents can afford comfortably? How many parents can pay 600.000frs even instalmentally every year for three years for one, or two or three children?
What the government is doing to education in Cameroon is just another gimmick for its political survival. The government by establishing 50.000frs as registration or fees - whatever they choose to call it is just a blindfold in front of the naive Cameroonian. They use this issue politicaly and call it what they want as it is convenient. When the need arises they say education is free because the students pay only for registration. This goes in line with our constitution about giving free education to Cameroonians. It proves that the government respects the constitution.
Let me point out something here. There are Thousands of Camernians abroad with professional qualifications in almost all disciplines. If these people were invited back to Cameroon we won't have the need to get hooked up with foreign schools in expensive long distance programs for our children. Also if the government could take matter in its hands like a real government, they could easily provide accomodation for students in all the campuses at a fraction of the outrageous amounts landlords extort from students today. Living expenses too make exercerbate the problem. To slove this a stupid chancellor will try to negotiate with landlords to reduce rents. Why would government suggests to any investor what to charge for his products or services? As if the matter would end there, the taxation department does not give these landlords special tax breaks for housing students. People whose children too might be attending these universities invests in real estate, pay taxes, and the government comes and asks them to reduce rents for students. What does the government give to Cameroonians in return?
So Mr Tande's article as objective as it seems does not really call for a logical response. The way Cameroon government operates does not call for a logical argument to suggests solutions. Anything the government tries to do in Cameroon assumes a dimension so complicated that it becomes mystical. A contractor completes a project and is awarded a check to collect payment from the local treasury. The number of twists and turns that small check will take in that equally small provincial or even divisional treasury, will be more than what it took to come up with a space rocket. With such an indescribeable, self defeating bureaucracy which becomes a nursing ground for bribery and corruption how can anything be done? a government that does not know what to decide - whether motorcycle riders should wear helmets, obey traffic rules or pay taxes? Are you surprised that like a child going for ice cream across a busy street they just decide only on taxes. How can we expect such a shallow minded government to take decisions and expect citizens to comment on logically. So if my piece does not make any sense to any reader it is simply because of my inability to make sense of what the Cameroon government is up at any stage of its dealing with its citizens.
Fon

Jonas NKWEMFO

I am a cameroonian, managing the psychosocial and community services in Goz Amir refugees camp (Eastern Chad)with HIAS, an American NGO based in N.Y.
Could you help me to provide a suitable answer to Adam, headmaster at Dar Es Salam school. Before the war started, He'd spent 3 years at Khartoum University doing history. After the Darfur event he is living in Goz Amir as sudanese refugee. He speaks english, and want to continue studies in Cameroon.
According to the language, I've hougth of Buea University.
Could you tell me what he need to do to br accepted.
He does not have access to the net. In necessary case, I could introduce his papers during my coming leave in Cameroon.
Thanks at advance.
Sincerely,
Jonas D.

commentor

This is to Fon. La republique needs to give up its French system and voluntarily surrender to us to teaching and upgrade.

miki Gilbert

i am very much disgusted with the present educational system in cameroon.there is no doubt that anglophones shall continue to bow infront of francophones.west cameroon as it is rightly called is endowed with a lot of natural resources that can sustain its citizens especially the educated ones.it is high time we decry the continuous frenchification of our territory.Graduate 2007-depts ofGEOGRAPHY/EDUCATION

Lucas Heleno Forte

Sorry, but I´ve read the article a couple of times and still I don´t understand if University Of Buea (UE) is or is not a State University!
Is it supported by state? Is it from the Government??
Sorry again.
Best wishes

Jon

The University of Buea (UB) is a state-owned and state financed university

ndanggils

I think the right thing was done at the right time. Change is a constant thing no matter the manner in which i take to come.It for sure that Dr.Mrs Dorothy Njoma is a good Administrator no doubt the students of Yaounde now praise but she needed this change and some how some way someone has to started and so it happened, it happened again when it come to Prof, Lambi Cornelus. Here we see that so many lessons were learnt.1) That the system is not well organised, 2) The rules of the Medecine Exams of 2006 were only put in placed after the protest. 3) That Prof Lambi was used as a sacrificial lamb and he accepted. 4) Students being what they are they no what is right and wrong even if they don't voice it.5) University of Buea is an eye opener.

Thanks for reading.......

Victor Katte

Read the attached article and take note (http://newhumanist.org.uk/1637)

I have long posited this hypothesis and it is ever so refreshing to find a report which bears the same conclusion. In fact, any student of the history of the Dark Ages in Europe would have come to the same conclusion sooner. This should serve as a salutary lesson to everyone interested in the proper education of the citizenry.

In fact, it is exactly 10 years ago when I visited the University of Buea and was appalled at the growing religiosity of the university students. Every evening at about 5pm I noticed groups of 30 - 50 students congregating in various houses or assembly halls to study the bible and other devotional materials. These gatherings typically lasted in excess of 3 hours and would occasionally extend till the small hours of the morning.

Now, I may be biased, but I am given to understand that universities are institutions for the promotions of critical and rational thinking, intellectualism and the cultivation of the free inquiry. I did not attend such meetings but I doubt if the subject of discussion was biblical textual criticism (Bart Ehrman), or the history of the Jews under the Roman colonial rule, or the Renaissance, or famine relief in Northern Cameroon, or the Enlightenment philosophers (David Hume, Voltaire, Spinoza or Thomas Paine) or African literature (Soyinka, Achebe, Ngugi etc). It is my guess that they were gathered to develop strategies for the salvation of their souls in another world. Can anything be more time-wasting and counter-education than that?

I constantly meet religionists (christians and otherwise) who brandish a (or several )university degree(s) but have no knowledge of some of the most basic fundamental precepts of science. They are typically those who interpret their religious books literally. This is an embarrassment. Here are some of the beliefs they uphold in spite of the fact that there is absolutely no scientific evidence in their favour:

* The believe that the earth is about 6000 years old as implied in Genesis. This is an embarrassment. Any basic study of geology should reveal that the earth is about 4 billion years old. It would simply not be possible for organic matter to be converted into petroleum fuels naturally in 6000 years. Anybody who holds onto this young-earth theory (but should know better) and rides a petroleum-based vehicle should be ashamed of themselves.

* That there was a worldwide flood in which Noah saved his family and some wild-life as reported in the bible about 4000 years ago. This is just palpably false and erroneous. There is no evidence for such a flood event. In fact, this account can be categorically refuted by science in no less than 1000 ways. (There is a lot of material on the internet about this).

* That the soul enters the zygote at conception. Can any idea be more idiotic than this? This stupid idea forms the cornerstone of the opposition to stem-cell research, the next-generation therapy for the treatment of a multitude of ailments.

* The believe that dinosaurs and humans once walked the earth some thousands of years ago. For goodness sake, dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago and humans (humanoids) have only walked this earth in the last 250 thousand years.

* The believe that death and evil (and suffering) was the result of Adam and Eve sining in the garden of Eden. How about all the animals that died out millions of years before humans evolved? These facts are easy to check, not least by a university student. Any good bookshop or university library should stock materials on these subjects.

Can our education system sink any lower?

Anyone looking for an object lesson on the impact of dogmatic, uncritical thinking should look no further than the persecution Galileo suffered for propounding that the earth travels around the Sun (heliocentrism) , rather than the Sun travelling around the earth, geocentrism (as was maintained by the Catholic church). It was only in 1965 that the Pope officially apologised for the persecution of Galileo. I hope the benefits of adhering to the correct version of celestial mechanics is obvious. For instance, satellite technology would not be possible today if we still believed in biblical cosmology. The potential damage to our civilisation we face with this type of biblical, uncritical thinking in incalculable. Just think of the Dark Ages.

The forces that assail us as a human civilisation are numerous and enormous. In Africa, these problems are multiplied ten-fold. In the face of such problems, the last thing we want to do is to degrade our only means of a resolution - education. Nigeria seems to have taken a path to intellectual barbarism through this rampant spread of the barbaric beliefs of primitive normadic tribesmen in Judea (if in doubt, read Numbers 31 and compare the morality of Moses to our modern day standards). Every survey shows Nigeria as the most religious country in the world, but yet the most corrupt and the most socially inequitable. Does such contradictions not say something about the parlous state of education in that country? Such beliefs are simply incompatible with enlightened 21st century thinking and inimical to the development of a universal humanistic ethic.

If we do not want to go down this degenerate road, we must find a way of arresting the decline in our institutions of learning and encourage the next generation of students to develop and think more critically.

Victor Katte
UK

Vic

The newHumanist, a UK based publication, contains an article about the state of Nigerian universities by Ebenezer Obadare, a sociologist, working in the US. This is an interesting read and should serve as a warning to some of our institutions.

I have long posited this hypothesis and it is ever so refreshing to find a report which bears the same conclusion. In fact, any student of the history of the Dark Ages in Europe would have come to the same conclusion sooner. This should serve as a salutary lesson to everyone interested in the proper education of the citizenry.

In fact, it is exactly 10 years ago when I visited the University of Buea and was appalled at the growing religiosity of the university students. Every evening at about 5pm I noticed groups of 30 - 50 students congregating in various houses or assembly halls to study the bible and other devotional materials. These gatherings typically lasted in excess of 3 hours and would occasionally extend till the small hours of the morning.

Now, I may be biased, but I am given to understand that universities are institutions for the promotions of critical and rational thinking, intellectualism and the cultivation of the free inquiry. I did not attend such meetings but I doubt if the subject of discussion was biblical textual criticism (Bart Ehrman), or the history of the Jews under the Roman colonial rule, or the Renaissance, or famine relief in Northern Cameroon, or the Enlightenment philosophers (David Hume, Voltaire, Spinoza or Thomas Paine) or African literature (Soyinka, Achebe, Ngugi etc). It is my guess that they were gathered to develop strategies for the salvation of their souls in another world. Can anything be more time-wasting and counter-education than that?

I constantly meet religionists (christians and otherwise) who brandish a (or several )university degree(s) but have no knowledge of some of the most basic fundamental precepts of science. They are typically those who interpret their religious books literally. This is an embarrassment. Here are some of the beliefs they uphold in spite of the fact that there is absolutely no scientific evidence in their favour:

* The believe that the earth is about 6000 years old as implied in Genesis. This is an embarrassment. Any basic study of geology should reveal that the earth is about 4 billion years old. It would simply not be possible for organic matter to be converted into petroleum fuels naturally in 6000 years. Anybody who holds onto this young-earth theory (but should know better) and rides a petroleum-based vehicle should be ashamed of themselves.

* That there was a worldwide flood in which Noah saved his family and some wild-life as reported in the bible about 4000 years ago. This is just palpably false and erroneous. There is no evidence for such a flood event. In fact, this account can be categorically refuted by science in no less than 1000 ways. (There is a lot of material on the internet about this).

* That the soul enters the zygote at conception. Can any idea be more idiotic than this? This stupid idea forms the cornerstone of the opposition to stem-cell research, the next-generation therapy for the treatment of a multitude of ailments.

* The believe that dinosaurs and humans once walked the earth some thousands of years ago. For goodness sake, dinosaurs went extinct about 65 million years ago and humans (humanoids) have only walked this earth in the last 250 thousand years.

* The believe that death and evil (and suffering) was the result of Adam and Eve sining in the garden of Eden. How about all the animals that died out millions of years before humans evolved? These facts are easy to check, not least by a university student. Any good bookshop or university library should stock materials on these subjects.

Can our education system sink any lower?

Anyone looking for an object lesson on the impact of dogmatic, uncritical thinking should look no further than the persecution Galileo suffered for propounding that the earth travels around the Sun (heliocentrism) , rather than the Sun travelling around the earth, geocentrism (as was maintained by the Catholic church). It was only in 1965 that the Pope officially apologised for the persecution of Galileo. I hope the benefits of adhering to the correct version of celestial mechanics is obvious. For instance, satellite technology would not be possible today if we still believed in biblical cosmology. The potential damage to our civilisation we face with this type of biblical, uncritical thinking in incalculable. Just think of the Dark Ages.

The forces that assail us as a human civilisation are numerous and enormous. In Africa, these problems are multiplied ten-fold. In the face of such problems, the last thing we want to do is to degrade our only means of a resolution - education. Nigeria seems to have taken a path to intellectual barbarism through this rampant spread of the barbaric beliefs of primitive normadic tribesmen in Judea (if in doubt, read Numbers 31 and compare the morality of Moses to our modern day standards). Every survey shows Nigeria as the most religious country in the world, but yet the most corrupt and the most socially inequitable. Does such contradictions not say something about the parlous state of education in that country? Such beliefs are simply incompatible with enlightened 21st century thinking and inimical to the development of a universal humanistic ethic.

If we do not want to go down this degenerate road, we must find a way of arresting the decline in our institutions of learning and encourage the next generation of students to develop and think more critically. But am afraid, where Nigeria leads, Cameroon is never too far behind.

Victor Katte
UK
(Tande, I salute you)

Innocent Ndifor Mancho

ok

preety

One of the significant benefits to distance education in a developing country context is that teachers can remain at their posts and interact with learners, family, and the community. They can apply what they are learning immediately to their situation and save the government money as teachers taking distance courses don’t need to be replaced as would be the situation if they attended regular face-to-face teacher training colleges.

click here for more information.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Scribbles from the Den Awards


  • 2008 Black Weblog Awards

April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      

AMLC


Follow Me on Social Media


  • Scribbles from the Den

    Promote Your Page Too


Dibussi's Visitor Locator


  • Locations of visitors to this page
       

Blogarama

  • Global Voices English
    I'm an Author for Global Voices
  • Global Voices en Francais
    Auteur de Global Voices

  • Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?