18, July 2016
Students in the University of Buea (UB) have continued writing their Second Semester examinations scheduled from June 28-July 18, 2016. On Monday, 11 July, lecturers went on strike, with examinations reportedly overseen mainly by support staff. According to the Registrar, Prof. Roland Ndip, the examinations have been going on hitch-free. He added that the University Senate meets on 3 August during which results will be discussed and approved before being published online. This is so that students in any part of the country and abroad can easily access their results.
Asked about the strike action by lecturers of the university, the Registrar concerted with another school official and then refused to make any statement. However, Cameroon Tribune was able to speak to the First Vice President of the National Syndicate of Teachers of Higher Education (SYNES), Buea chapter, Dr. Ndeh Martin Sango. He confirmed that they actually declared a strike, but it had just been suspended.
“We decided to strike during exams because of unpaid bonuses. These are bonuses for the supervision of long essays, leave claims, re-sit exams, supervision of Master’s theses, and bonuses related to extra working hours. These bonuses date back to 2013 and all attempts to get the university to pay them have failed,” Dr. Ndeh Martin Sango explained. He continued; “We suspended the strike after pleas by students and parents as some of the students will be writing public competitive exams. We decided to suspend the strike so that these students should not suffer innocently. However, we will continue with the strike by withdrawing our services from re-sit exams. We will not start lectures in October if the bonuses are not paid,” he warned.
The union leader alleged that the University of Buea is going through serious administrative crisis, reason why the authorities were not open to dialogue. “We gave the administration a one-month notification before the strike. If the administration was proactive, they would have called the executive of SYNES for dialogue and probably, we would not have declared a strike. In the absence of dialogue, there is always an alternative and we saw strike action as an alternative,” Dr. Ndeh Martin Sango said. Meanwhile, the UB authorities have on several occasions declared their openness to constructive dialogue.