Ahead of the kickoff of the 2021/2022 academic year in Universities and higher institutions of learning in Cameroon this October, varsity dons have made startling revelations.
At a major public conference organised on Saturday, 25 September on the theme “University Youth: Between national stakes and world challenges”, Pr. Armand Leka Essomba, Head of Department of Sociology at the University of Yaounde I, and Dr. Akamse Mbesse, Coaching and Development Expert, and Linguist at the same University, unanimously revealed that 50 percent of certificates held by University graduates in Cameroon are useless.
The statistic, according to the conference resource persons, is from the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training.
Speaking at Saint John the Baptist Church in Olezoa, Yaounde, venue of the academic discourse, the lecturers blamed the worrisome situation on several factors. According to Dr. Akamse, the phenomenon is fuelled by the fact that “80 percent of varsity students, including those at the Masters level, don’t know why they are studying a particular programme or course.” He said students nowadays, unlike those of the late 1950s who spearheaded independence movements in many African countries, don’t have an identity. “They want to be like Europeans and Americans, but they deliberately refuse to work hard,” he added.
Pr. Leka Essomba, on his part, attributed the cause to three obsessions entrenched in youths. They include the obsession to travel abroad, to get integrated into the public service, and to the craze for easy lifestyle. “Instead of working hard, many University students are indulged in unorthodox practices such as cheating, bribery, corruption, obscene sex deviances, adhere to occult groups, and invest millions of FCFA in perilous journeys abroad, with the ultimate goal to make money, earn respect, and succeed in life. In fact, they want to reap without sowing,” stated the Sociologist. Attended by persons from different walks of life, some parents blamed themselves for failing to arm their children with traditional values that trigger success in life.
After three hours of discussion and brainstorming, moderated by journalist Jules Elobo, varsity students, parents, teachers, and the clergy joined Pr. Leka, Dr. Akamse, and Pr. Mandob Enyegue Damaris, President of the Scientific Commission at the Diocesan Chaplaincy in charge of Universities and higher institutions of learning in agreeing that sincere hard work, appropriate academic orientation, change of mindset, professionalisation of higher education, creation of a national University students’ trade union, moral rearmament, sacrifice and prayer will reverse the fast-growing societal ill.
As reward for their brilliant academic outing, the first of its kind, Mgr Jean Mbarga, Archbishop of Yaounde, via his representative, donated a book to each of the conference protagonists. The conference that started and ended in prayers, according to organisers, will become regular.