Yaounde (National Times)-Cameroon’s Secondary Education Minister, Pauline Egbe Nalova Lyonga has again modified the timetables of the written part of the General Certificate of Education (GCE) of the English subsystem of education and the Baccalaureate of the French subsystem of education.
According to the Minister’s release, the written part of the GCE which was supposed to start on May 27 has been carried forward by a day ensuring that it ends on June 14 rather than June 13.
A similar adjustment has been done to examinations organised by the BAC Board which have been moved from May 30 to May 31st.
The major reason advanced is that of the celebration of Ascension Day on Thursday, May 30 which is generally a public holiday in Cameroon.
In the past three years since the Anglophone conflict started, the GCE timetable has been modified several times. Registration datelines are always modified and sometimes written timetables as well.
However, unlike in the past wherein the adjustments were mostly announced by the Registrar of the GCE Board, for the past three years, successive Ministers of Secondary have been more present in the life of the institution curtailing its once enjoyed autonomy.
Critics have argued that the celebration of Ascension Day is well known by Christians and non-Christians alike and it is unrealistic for GCE and BAC timetables to be modified on the eve of the exams.
Moreover, in the past, the GCE has always been written on all working days sometimes even on public holidays with specifications coming from the Registrar.
With the heavy hand of the Ministry of Secondary Education on the Board, the quality of exams is feared threatened with some students being declared unsuccessful at first instance and later on successful upon collection of their result slips.
Enormous mistakes were made last year on the results to the extent that most schools had to recollect the slips of their students and forward to the Board for modifications.