Back-to-school : Need For Vigilance

Another academic year has started and the usual anxiety that parents faced for the past years, especially in crises areas, in the country is also back. The basic, secondary and vocational education sectors started classes throughout Cameroon last Monday, September 4, 2023. It was a highly awaited and determinant time in the lives of learners at all levels and more importantly for those who have moved to higher levels, beginners and pupils and students in examination classes who will at the end of the academic year write end-of-course certificate examinations. Systematic targeting of innocent kids who simply want to build a better future for themselves must not be allowed to serve as a deterrent. Of course, no one would want to see his/her child go to school and be victim of what they never called for. It is important therefore to give the children a chance as they pursue the goals through a sound education. 
Indeed, declarations have been made and the willingness of education stakeholders expressed. Beginning last Monday, the translation of the declarations and determination into concrete actions was expected. The defence and security forces, especially in crisis-affected regions have to step up vigilance around educational institutions in order to nip any destabilization attempts in the bud. As has been the case in the previous years, armed separatist groups have continued to threaten education stakeholders. Faced with such a situation, defence and security forces have to multiply their omnipresence and use every means to ensure the security and safety of school children, teachers and parents. In the past, during back-to-school, the armed groups had used barbaric killings and kidnappings of school children and officials as a means to stop schooling.
On their part, administrative authorities in charge of maintaining law and order have to mobilise the different societal actors and multiply alert mechanisms so as to face any likely threat to the effective start of the school year and smooth teaching throughout the year. In this case they should adopt a well-coordinated security and order network with each actor using every method of vigilance.
Different communities, especially in the crisis-affected North West, South West and Far North Regions where schooling had been perturbed in some localities have mustered courage to ensure that their children go back to school. Many school campuses that had hitherto been invaded by grass have been cleaned. Some members of Parliament, municipal authorities and members of the elite have curiously in these affected regions engaged in donating didactic materials and school needs, giving prizes, scholarships and making enticing promises to pupils and students who would go back to school. Religious authorities and traditional rulers have been calling for mobilisation for effective classes to take place throughout the national territory as education is one of the key human rights our children must not be denied by whoever.
The effective start of the academic year will be the culmination of intense and meticulous preparatory activities by the diverse education stakeholders. The respective education sector ministries have worked on the curricula that is progressively being aligned to modernity intended to meet the needs of the job market. They have equally held sector conferences and redeployed administrative and teaching staff. Parents have toiled to provide the needs of their children as well as ensure that they attend highly qualified schools.
After mobilization, now comes the time for vigilance.  Government is championing this aspect of vigilance by stepping up security measures. A few weeks to the start of the school year, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence Joseph Beti Assomo summoned a meeting that brought together security officials and that was also attended by the Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Atanga Nji. Different Regional Governors had also summoned security meetings aimed at ensuring the implementation of security and administrative measures in the nooks and crannies of their areas of jurisdiction for classes to start and go on unperturbed. North West Regional Governor, Adolphe Lele Lafrique during the Secondary Education Secto...



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