9, October 2019
Cameroon’s Ministry of Secondary Education on Tuesday began training teachers on how to counsel and guide internally displaced school children.
According to Cameroon’s Minister of Secondary Education, Pauline Nalova Lyonga, the training came as a result of growing internal displacement of people in the country caused by an armed conflict in the country’s English-speaking regions.
“Our country is facing a lot of challenges and the teacher is right at the center of this because we have to teach and transmit the right attitudes to the next generation.” Lyonga told reporters at the start of the training in the capital, Yaounde.
She said, the teachers after the three-day training will be able to teach the children to “remain responsible and focus”.
According to Lyonga, it is teachers’ job to make sure that students from separatism-hit regions can feel like at home in the Francophone part of Cameroon.
“If the teacher must give that value (of unity) to the children, he himself must have the value,” she added.
A UNICEF report released in August estimates that insecurity spreading across the regions has left more than 4,400 schools forcibly closed, affecting more than 600,000 children.
According to UN estimations in July, the conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions has resulted in about 530,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) among them, many children and teenagers struggling to resume schooling with very limited resources.
Since 2017, armed separatists have been clashing with government forces in the regions in a bid to create an independent nation they call “Ambazonia”.
A national dialogue to end the separatist conflict held in the country last week and recommended that greater autonomy should be given to the English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest.