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Empty classrooms, deserted campuses usher in new school year

The hype made by municipal and administrative authorities, especially those of the South West Regional capital, Buea was extinguished on September 3, 2018, when school doors slammed open.

Contrary to what many administrators in the Region expected, it was empty classrooms and deserted campuses that ushered in the 2018/2019 academic year.

Empty Classroom

Renowned Primary and Secondary schools like Bilingual Grammar School (BGS) Molyko and Government Technical High School (GTHS) Buea, which were expected to take the lead, were also boycotted. Not even a single soul was spotted on campus.

Reason for such timid school resumption many believe was not unconnected to the routine ghost town, where movement of persons and goods are prohibited.

The ghost town was instituted by the Abazonian Restoration Forces in the heat of the Anglophone Crisis.

Despite the much talked about measures put in place to ensure effective schools resumption in Buea and the rest of the Region, classes still flopped to take off.

Several forums and consultation meetings have been held by elite of the South West Region and Government officials to ensure that parents send their children to school.

One of such forums is the recent South West Elite Forum held in Buea, chaired by former Prime Minister, Peter Mafany Musonge, where participants deliberated on three pertinent subthemes to ensure peace and tranquillity in the Region.

Youth and women empowerment, cultural awakening and the preservation of the South West Region was one of the subthemes deliberated on, which was geared towards the effective resumption of schools in the Region on September 3. All these measures yielded no fruits as the inhabitants of Buea still respected ghost town and no student was seen in school.

Again, despite the lamentation campaign organised by the South West and North West Women Task Force (SNWOT), decrying the disruption of schools in the Anglophone Regions and urging parents to send their children to school, nothing changed. Parent still held back their children at home.

Worst still, the recent distribution of didactic materials and cash gifts by the Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick Esunge, worth FCFA 20 million did not convince parents to send their children to school.

The question lingering on every lip is: will the teaching-learning process take place in the South West Region this year?

However, South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, has repeatedly assured parents of the security of their children to and from school.

©THE NATIONAL TIMES NEWS