The Cameroun government has been planning for years to harmonize academic programmes in the Cameroons state universities. Such a move received fierce blocks from four independent bodies with an unflinching resolve to deter the government from going ahead with the move.
Government action thus led to members of the University of Buea chapter of the National Syndicate of Teachers of Higher Education, SYNES, the Cameroon Teachers’ Trade Union, CATTU, the Union of Parents, Teachers Association of Cameroon, UPTA and Common Law lawyers, to issue a fiery press statement condemning what they described as “the plot by the Ministry of Higher Education, MINESUP, to destroy Anglophones as a cultural entity.
It should be recalled that so far, the harmonization has already gone operational into the fields of medicine, pharmacy and dental surgery as the government says it intends to ensure improved quality training for students in the said domains in both private and public health training institutions. In this light, the Yaounde regime invited all Heads of Departments of all eight state universities on Monday, May 30 for a meeting that is understood to be within the framework of furthering plans to harmonize the university programmes.
In a late afternoon move on Friday June, 3rd 2016, all Heads of Departments (HODs ) of the University of Buea (UB) and Bamenda (UBa) said NO to harmonization. The Minister of Higher Education, Prof Jacques Fame Ndongo looked visibly shocked that lecturers from these two universities stood their grounds in Yaoundé and spoke with one voice. They told the Minister who had used the LMD as an excuse to call for harmonization that the Anglophone system remains the best and if there is a need for any harmonization, then the Francophone universities in the country must go the Anglophone way.
The HODs had based their argument on the fact that any changes are a flagrant contravention of the decrees creating the Universities of Buea and Bamenda as English-speaking institutions. They also fault the ministry of higher education for its failure to respect this decree by persistently recruiting staff who cannot speak English in violation of University recruitment procedure, thereby altering the language of instruction.
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