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Institution of book with sexual undertone content in Cameroon’s curriculum sparks controversy

A new Secondary school text book  dubbed ‘L’ Excellence en Science’ or ‘Excellence in Science’  introduced on the official book list for the 2018/2019 academic year has sparked outrage following the discovery of a topic on sexual deviance in its content.

‘Excellence in Science’ is meant for students in cinquiem (5em) in the French Sub-system of education. The class is the equivalent of Form Two in the English Sub-system of education.

copy of the book

Public opinion across the board remains divided.  A segment of the population has raised concern over initiating children into knowing such deviant practices such as homosexuality at a tender age.

Some have criticised it as a threat to the cohesion of the social fabric.

On 59 of the text book, there is a table with content on deviant sexual practices. The content which focuses on health education also poses questions such as the effects of nefarious sexual practices on reproductive health.

It talks of measures needed to contain the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

An image of a zoophile (person sexually attracted to animals) is found on page 59. It is used as an example of sexual deviation in society.

It states that such sexual practices which are against the laws of the land are assuming an alarming proportion across towns and villages.

The authors of the books make bold that such practices pose a risk to the health of individuals.

Then the content on page 60 focuses on sexualpractices such as paedohiles, zoophiles, incest and homosexuality.

‘Excellence in Science’ is authored by Ebang Etole, Charles, Hessel Joseph Ango Yves Patrick and Bella Zana Martin.

Pedagogues have argued that the authors included such as a way of enhancing sex education among kids.

In the face of the outrage, the authors are yet to make any public statement. Officials of the National Book Commission are yet to also react.

Article 347 of Cameroon’s Penal Code criminalises same –sex conduct. It makes bold a penalty of six months to five years imprisonment and a fine of  from FCFA 20,000 to FCFA 200,000.

Such controversy is not new to Cameroon’s education sector. In December 2017, then Secondary Education Minister Jean Ernest Ngale sanctioned eight Pedagogic Inspectors over the content of a text book titled ‘Moving On’.

The book was discovered with contents linked to Cameroon’s separatists’ such as its flag among others.

Then, Minister Bibehe stated that the Pedagogues disrespected the Manual Homologation Commission and rather paid allegiance to separatists.

In quick reaction, Cosmos Education Limited that published the book withdrew it from the market. The book was scrapped off from the school curricular.

On November 24, 2017, Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Philemon Yang, signed a decision instituting a one book per subject policy.

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