WHY SOUTHERN CAMEROONIAN STUDENTS AND PUPILS MUST GO BACK TO SCHOOL NOW: A DISGRUNTLED PARENT AND TEACHER LASHES OUT
by Timothy Keyeke
Excerpt: ” I don’t want to be a fool forever. I WILL NOT GO TO SCHOOL COME MONDAY 9 AND THE DAYS AHEAD so as to be tortured, raped, riddled with grenades, tear gassed, or even killed.”
Again I take an antipodal position against popular opinion without minding the anathema and invectives that loom over me. This fact-full, but emotionally packed and fustian write-up might be regarded by some as a satanic version; I don’t care because Ngugi wa Thiong’o has opined that every writer is a writer in politics. He however cautions that the politics must be one which sides with the down trodden. Yes. Our house (Southern Cameroon) is under the consumption of a gigantic fire and we cannot afford to chase the rats or pretend not to be scorched by the incineration. As a concerned parent and teacher I see the dire need to begin classes immediately. Varied reasons abound for both Southern Cameroonian teachers and students to descend to the classroom with immediate effect.
Southern Cameroonians lack basic school infrastructures, talk less of stationery. The University of Bamenda, for example, harbors many institutions of higher learning. It is sad to say that the same old structures that were constructed by the Germans donkey years ago are the same ramshackle buildings this prestigious institution is still using. At times students huddle under trees to attend lectures, or they are simply dismissed for lack of where to attend lectures. A tour of schools in the entire region will live one wondering if we are still in the Neanderthal age. The dilapidated structures, which also pass for schools, even in the South West Region is a direct smack on the face. Children attend classes while sitting on dusty and jigger-infested floors. Though timber is exported from this region by La Republique and auctioned to France. Students in this part of the country lack benches and roofs on the huts which purport to be classes. These are the state of putrid schools that awaits teachers and students come January 9. Oh! good old Southern Cameroon so close to God, but far away from heaven.
Teachers and students in Southern Cameroon must go to school now because they are the “extremist minority being manipulated” by some individuals. The privileged francophone children of cabinet ministers and those who matter in the society in La Republique have flooded Southern Cameroonian schools. These students are waiting for the much cherished Anglo-Saxon education to be taught by Southern Cameroonian well-cultured teachers. Yet these teachers are the extremist elements and enemies in the house. In that light, we have every reason to go back to school to teach and nurture Francophones so that they turn round and bite the finger that fed them. After all, we are “Anglofous,” “les biafras” and all what not. We must go to school and teach them to continue to lord over us.
It is high time we went to school because we have been coerced to do so. Education goes with a relaxed and conducive atmosphere. Unfortunately, La Republique does not know this cognitive code teaching method. All strategic sites and schools in the major towns of Southern Cameroon are flooded with heavily armed military men from La Republique. Any new comer to Southern Cameroon being riddled with machine guns and water cannons all over the militarized zone will conclude that a Third World War is at hand. The atmosphere is stifling. The same soldiers who committed untold atrocities in Southern Cameroon by openly brutalizing our lawyers, seizing their robes and wigs are there to protect us as we lumber to school come Monday. Students in southern Cameroon should go back to school to study under intimidation, blackmail, and threats. The mistreatment meted on lawyers awaits teachers. So come Monday the 9th, Southern Cameroonian teachers should go to school to be dished with what our honorable men of the bar experienced.
Southern Cameroonians have been tortured, maimed, raped, and even grisly killed. Soldiers went into innocent students’ rooms inflicted excruciating pains on them, looted property, destroyed phones, and left indelible marks on them. Southern Cameroonians are anxious to be raped again by officers of law and order. Southern Cameroonians are eager to be served with tear gas and irritating water from canons. Southern Cameroonians are begging to be tortured. That is why they have to go to school now. The mistreatment and brunt of humiliation they bore a few weeks ago was not enough. Ha, do I hear myself echoing that there is no Anglophone Problem, and hence no marginalization of Southern Cameroonians?
We have to begin school forthwith for the educational genocide in Southern Cameroon to continue. Southern Cameroonian Students and pupils must go back to school to be untaught. They must study English Language in French whether they like it or not. French, the language of oppression, intimidation, and corruption is the language that awaits them as they scurry into their classes. I wonder how these poor Southern Cameroonians will ever understand concepts in biology, chemistry, physics, maths, history, literature tatati tatata given that the subjects are taught in French by inexperienced and unqualified teachers. No doubt these breed of Southern Cameroonian students will remain caged till doomsday. How will these ill-fated Southern Cameroonians ever fit into the ever dynamic world? Only La Republique with its linguistic experts and congenital mythomaniacs can provide an answer.
We must go back to school because we are not and shall never be the leaders of tomorrow. The past, present, and the future is bleak. For 35 years (from infancy, adolescence, and adulthood) we have been under the yoke of the same tyranny; being fed the same old lie that we are the leaders of tomorrow. The same ministers keep changing portfolios. Some wallow under the cornucopia of multiple posts while we continue to go to school to either end up riding bikes, driving taxis, or doing mean and odd jobs. In such conditions, we will never ever have the money to officially bribe to go to professional schools like ENS, ENAM, EMIA, IRIC (all French acronyms). We should quickly go back to school because we cannot be ministers of basic education; we cannot be ministers of secondary education; we cannot be ministers of higher education. The handful of us who manage to find ourselves in ENS have to be in Yaunde daily chasing files or looking for money to bribe again to become the sub of sub directors or assistant of assistants to our East Cameroonian counterparts.
Southern Cameroon has been retrogressing for the past 55 years. Anything that is auspicious there is either carted to East Cameroon or outrightly destroyed. We must go back to school because we are a good-for-nothing people. We have to be tortured and humiliated before the GCE Board was grudgingly given to us. We have to be raped, dragged in sewage, afflicted, and killed before the president can demonstrate his largesse by going to his daughter’s pocket allowance and nibbling a paltry two billion FCFA from there to pacify us. Perhaps we should applaud the head of state by going to school, and with “unflinching motions of support” for his magnanimity because he has used his hard-earned money to provide us with laptops and now two billion.
Little known Rwanda, and even Equatorial Guinea, know the importance of education because their teachers and students attend schools in decent environments. Which governments bribes authorities for teachers and students to go to class? Which government, except La Republique, coerces and threatens both students and teachers to go to class? Impossible is not La Republique. I don’t want to be a fool forever. I WILL NOT GO TO SCHOOL COME MONDAY 9 AND THE DAYS AHEAD so as to be tortured, raped, riddled with grenades, tear gassed, or even killed. I will not also be the blackleg to sell my country and progeny. Unless there is a genuine change and quickly too, I WILL ONLY GO TO SCHOOL IN 2035 of grande or greater ambitions. Forgive my French lapse for I was fortunate not be taught literature in that wily and abrasive language.