Yaoundé(National Times)-Despite a last minute intervention by the Minister of Higher Education, Prof Jacques Fame Ndongo, ordering the payment of the fourth quarter of research allowances to Lecturers of State-owned universities, the latter has pressed on with the announced strike action.
These Lecturers have accused the Minister of making promises without corroborating them with actions. The strike action which started on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, was religiously followed at the University of Yaoundé I.
A Lecturer at the Faculty of Science who opted for anonymity told this reporter that the strike action still holds notwithstanding the announcement made by the Minister about the commencement of payment of the fourth quarter of their research allowances.
“Fame Ndongo has just made an announcement and we are waiting to see it materialised, until now nothing has been done so we are going on with the strike action,” the Lecturer said adding that, “it shall go on till March 19.”
At the University of Buea, we were informed that the effects of the strike action cannot really be felt because the University is officially on break.
It is to be noted that last week the National Syndicate of Teachers of Higher Education notified the Government and the public on their decision to embark on a one week strike action. They advanced as reasons the nonpayment of the fourth quarter of their research allowances for 2018 as well as the climate of insecurity reigning in some university campuses.
On the eve of the strike action (March 12), the Minister of Higher Education, Prof Jacques Fame Ndong, signed a communiqué announcing the disbursement of funds to that effect.
However, these Lecturers have argued that the Ministers declarations were merely promises and not actions.
It is not uncommon for University Lecturers to go on an industrial strike every academic year with similar reasons.
Most often it is when they threatened to go on strike, or when the strike action has already been launched that Government would hastily seek for a peaceful entente with the striking Lecturers.
With the advent of the Anglophone conflict, the situation of University Lecturers has worsened, with some of them being killed while others are kidnapped.
The Lecturers have previously written to the Government to seek for peaceful solution to the Anglophone conflict or they would abandon the amphitheaters.