Kumba(National Times)-Some school administrators across Meme Division in Cameroon’s South West Region are at odds with financial demands to sponsor the 53rd edition of the National Youth day billed for February 11, 2019.
The concerned have argued that they cannot meet up with such financial engagements, given that, their schools are not functional.
Others declared that since 2016 when the Anglophone Crisis erupted, they have never admitted even single student.
Complaints in this light came to the fore as college Principals, Head Teachers, officials of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education converged on the Kumba City Council Chambers Friday, January 11, to set the tone for the upcoming Youth Day.
The meeting came at the instance of the Meme administration to raise funds and prepare the Division for the annual event. Meme Second Assistant Prefect, Hermia Njonje, chaired the preparatory meeting.
According to amounts announced at the meeting, Government nursery schools are expected to pay FCFA 5000, Primary schools FCFA 10,000, Secondary Schools FCFA 30,000, Government Bilingual High Schools (GBHS & GHS) FCFA 35,000.
Higher institutions of learning are expected to pay FCFA 50,000 for the event, while vocational training schools will pay FCFA 10,000.
Immediately the amounts were read, the head of the various institutions at the meetings started grumbling. An air of grumbling filled the entire hall.
Abwa Lucy, Head Teacher of Government Primary School Mambanda Kumba III, argued that the amount for schools without students and pupils was expensive.
In her category, she suggested that the amount be reduced from FCFA 10,000 to FCFA 5000 for primary and from FCFA 5000 to FCFA 2,500 for nursery schools.
For Akwo John Head Teacher of GS Ngamlikum, the major concern which he has raised for several years was the amount contributed by the Ministry in charge of the Youth Day to make the event a success Akwo wanted to know the Ministry’s financial input to the event.
In the face of the grumblings, the Principal of Government Secondary School, GSS Ekemba- Fiango Kumba II told the audience that he has not registered any student in his school and so cannot afford money to pay for such contributions.
In the face of the consternations, the Assistant Prefect, Hermia Njonje reminded the school authorities that schools do not only rely on fees but also enjoy subvention from the State. She urged the concerned to contribute towards the success of the event.
Despite the SDO’s utterance, some school heads stood up contesting the provision of subvention from the State. Others said their schools enjoyed enormous support from the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) which has gone moribund because schools are not functional.
Others demanded explanations as to how FCFA 2,000,000 raised from similar gatherings in 2018 was spent.
Augustina Mbolle Divisional Delegate of Youth Affairs attempted explaining how the money was spent but never mentioned anything concrete till the end of the meeting.
Ghost Town Controversy
Besides the grumblings over contributions, the teachers expressed doubts as to how they would leave their homes to participate at the ceremony which coincides with separatists –imposed ghost town operations every Monday. February 11 , 2019 falls on a Monday.
Most of the speakers at the meeting urged administrators to take security dispositions to ensure that the day is celebrated hitch free.
In the face of the worries, the Assistant Prefect said, her hierarchy will be informed for appropriate measures to be taken but asked for collective efforts to make the day a success.