Eligibility Conditions Often Flouted

The recent absorption of PTA Government Primary School teachers into the Public Service was fraught with controversy.

Like it has become often too common with Cameroonians, the recent recruitment of some 3,060 Parent-Teacher-Association, PTA, Government Primary School teachers into the Public Service raised much dust across the country. There were repeated allegations of fraud in the exercise. Some PTA teachers who were ‘unjustifiably’ left out laid siege on public offices in every region. Carrying placards bearing their grievances, some of the teachers organised prolonged sit-ins in front of State buildings, including the Prime Minister’s office in Yaounde.

Meanwhile, the criteria for recruitment issued by Youssouf Hadidja Alim, the Minister of Basic Education, clearly stated among others that candidates must have obtained their Grade One Teacher’s Certificates before 2013 and must be aged at most 40. The other condition was that teachers be only recruited in schools where there is need which is mostly in poor rural schools. However, the hullabaloo about the manner in which the recruitment was carried out had to do with apparent flouting of the rules such as the date of obtaining certificate and felt need.

Protesting PTA elementary school teachers in different regions who felt cheated complained that the lists of those retained included many who completed their Grade One Teacher’s Certificates after 2013! Curiously, teachers who left school five, four, or three years prior to 2013 and who had been teaching in Government Schools on a monthly pittance of between FCFA 10,000 or FCFA 15,000, were dropped for less qualified candidates. Only yesterday, May 25, 2015, some aggrieved PTA teachers from the remote border Furu-Awa Subdivision in Menchum Division of the North West Region, were at the Regional Delegation of Basic Education in Bamenda to submit a petition.

They alleged amongst others that to their greatest dismay, the recent lists contained names of teachers who never taught in the schools they were allegedly recruited from. Yet, they who bore the misery of teaching in inaccessible areas with virtually nothing to show for in terms of wages, were left out. On the other hand, there were claims that the names of teachers teaching in private schools were inserted into the lists of those recruited into the Public Service. Perhaps, more troubling about the matter are assertions that enough priority was not given to rural areas where there is greater need for teachers.

Instead, some people contented that relatively more teachers were recruited in urban areas where the tendency is to have two or three of them per class, especially in big cities like Yaounde and Douala. There have even been accusations that some urban Government Primary Schools with no apparent need for additional teachers lobbied to be included on the priority list. Given the ongoing furore over the recent recruitment of PTA teachers for 2015 and the launch by the Ministry of Basic Education of the exercise for 2016 – which is the third and last in the current World Bank-funded project – there is urgent need to correct the errors. The solution to the brouhaha is simple – let everyone respect the rules!

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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