Schools Now Open Says Cameroon, Despite Threats from Anglophone Separatists

Children attend class in Souza Gare primary school, southern Cameroon. Photo: Daniel Beloumou/Education Cannot Wait

Schools are open again, and parents should send their children, the Cameroonian government has announced, despite ongoing threats from Anglophone separatists.  

Closed for six years in the restive English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions, schools were ordered to reopen this week, and the government claimed the reopening is a success.

But in Ndian division of the Southwest region, the Senior Divisional Officer, Gilbert Guibai Baldena said few children had turned up to attend classes.

“In spite of the fact that there are not many school children here now, we have met the administrative staff and teachers in school. To all those who have remained at home, school has effectively started today so they should come to school,” Guiba Baldena said during a visit to Manja. 

The attempt to create “ghost towns” imposed by the separatists is no longer respected in Mundemba, he said.

“Concerning the phenomenon of ‘ghost towns’, we have had great success against its observation. We call on parents to send their children to school on Mondays. They should not be afraid of anything because all the necessary security measures have been put in place. It is not only in Mundemba that there is security but in all the totality of the peninsula and Ekondo-Titi, the same measures have been taken,” the SDO revealed.

The government-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) channel last evening dedicated a large segment of the prime-time news showing images of school children and teachers in classes in several parts of the two restive English-speaking regions to demonstrate that the populations are “boycotting the boycott” threats by Anglophone separatists.

Parents in urban areas, where security efforts against separatists are better, are more likely to send their children to school. In the rural hinterlands, where the military is absent and the separatists hold almost complete sway, there was no sign of anyone breaking the boycott.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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