Heightened Cautiousness!

Pupils and students of examination classes in Cameroon are back in schools; amidst the coronavirus scare, with the pious hope of conquering the fear and standing taller than the pandemic to at least write their end-of-course examinations. In effect, while pupils of Class Six, for the Anglo-Saxon subsystem, Cours moyen deuxième année, for the French-speaking sub- system and Upper-Sixth and Terminale as well as all of higher institutions of learning went back to the classrooms yesterday, those of Premières and Troisièmes for the Francophone subsystem, and Form Five for the Anglo-Saxon subsystem will do so the- reafter. The seemingly difficult decision taken by government in the face of the surging pandemic demands solidarity from all and sundry to stand the test of time. No one is unaware of the fact that faced with the health response to Covid-19 and the utter necessity of ensuring that the country’s youth on whose shoulders tomorrow’s nation lies do not have to succumb to a truncated academic year, there was need to act. And government, after carrying out broad consultation at different levels, during which several opinions were sought and considered, took the final step aimed at preserving the school and academic year for a section of the school and student population, in particular pupils and students in official examination classes. How well such a move could be in the face of growing infection rate of the pandemic is certainly a debate for another day. But for one thing, inasmuch as government couldn’t expect unanimity from across the board, working to ensure that the two priority goals that guided the decision and for which specific direc- tives were issued by the President of the Republic and widely relayed by the Prime Minister, Head of Government are attained, should be non-negotiable. Guaranteeing a smooth completion of the school and academic year in the ten regions of the country and meticulously ensuring the health safety of children, pupils and students nationwide are in fact obligations for both the government and the governed. Making available required sanitary kits notably hand washing buckets, hand sanitizers, thermoflashes et al, in each establishment, as government instructed shouldn’t be for fancy. They shouldn’t also be placed there only for the opening da...

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