Sir Ekema Humphrey Monono, Registrar of the Cameroon GCE board has said there will be no further extension of the deadline for the registration of students who will take part in end of course examinations set by the board this year.
In a telephone interview with Journal du Cameroun today, Sir Monono said if the date is extended further, students will not have enough time to prepare and write the examinations. He also gave to understanding that besides the writing of the examinations, teachers will also need to mark the exam papers on time for results to be declared within a time frame that would not pertube the timely start of the 2017/2018 academic year.
The registrar told Journal du Cameroun that he was certain the feedback from the registration centres will be positive with regards to the number of candidates registered to sit for the examinations.
“I am sure we will have better figures than what we declared last time. At the moment, we are still receiving files from the various registration centres but by March 25, we would publish the lists.” He said. It should be recalled that the latest figure that filtered out from official sources was 70,000 candidates. Insiders at the GCE board headquarters however hinted that the actual number of students registered to take the GCE Ordinary and Advanced levels stood at about 40,000.
It should be noted that the registration deadline for the GCE was extended to March 20 in an extraordinary meeting of the board. It was extended after statistics showed the number of registered candidates were less than half of the over 180,000 that took part in the examination last year.
The low registration is a fallout of ongoing protests in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon which started as teachers and lawyers strike late last year- the protests later metamorphosed into a regional outcry against a perceived marginalisation of the minority English-speaking Cameroonians of the North West and South West regions.
The registrar of the GCE board recently revealed that he is receiving death threats from protesters warning him not to organise the examination. Protesters have set ablaze Francophone sections of some schools which have remained operational through the on-going protests. Parents have also refused to send their children back to school despite the fact that some leaders of some of the teachers’ trade unions which were at the origin of the strike, called of the strike on February 3.
Government says parents keep their children at home for security reasons. But pundits argue a majority of English-speaking parents in the protesting regions would keep their children at home because they want government to solve the problems raised by the outlawed Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium currently coordinating the protests.