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Cameroon/2020 back to school: Parents divided over two-shift system

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Some parents are against the two shifts system of education introduced by the Ministers of Basic and Secondary for this 2020/2021 academic year in Cameroon in a bit to keep the COVID -19 pandemic at bay.

Few weeks ago, the Minister of Basic Education, Prof Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa and his counterpart of Secondary Education, Prof Pauline Nalova Lyonga during a press conference in Yaounde announced the introduction of the two-shift system of education amongst other measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in school milieu.

This system has left some parents and guidiants perplexed with many questioning its efficiency.

According to Jean-Jules, a parent living in the Obili neighborhood in Yaounde, the two-shift system will give more liberty to students and pupils.

“I don’t like this new school programme because it will give the children a lot of free time and when children are free they do a lot of nasty things, including loitering around following bad friends and no longer concentrate on their studies,”Jean Jules said.

Announcing the two-shift system, gov’t said it is a measure to decongest schools in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. However, Jean Jules is of the opinion that gov’t should have proceeded by constructing more classrooms in schools to accommodate learners.

“if there is not enough space to accommodate the children in classrooms let them construct new ones and the problem will be solved,” he noted.

Emiliane Waha, mother of six pupils in Yaounde wonders how she will cope with her kids given that she will have to drop and pick them up at different intervals.

“This new system will cost me a lot. I have no other option but to hire a taxi driver who will pick those who will be going in the morning, drop them in school then will come in the afternoon to pick the other ones, drop them in school and take the other ones back home and later on go back to school to pick those of the afternoon shift. You agree with me that this is not an easy task” Emiliane told Journal du Cameroon.

If Emiliane and Jean-Jules still ponder on the effectiveness of this system, Malick Ahmadou see it as an ideal for slow pace learners to be able to catch up and intelligent ones perfect their work.

“According to me, this program is just the best. It will give enough time to children to study and rest. I don’t know why people are complaining besides, this is not the first time school will work under the shift system. I attended a public primary school year back and it wasn’t that bad…”

The most important thing here is that it is intended to keep our children safe from any COVID-19 contamination.”

 


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