By Kesah Princely, In Buea
For five years now, Cameroon’s duo Anglophone regions of the North West and South West have been engulfed in a separatist conflict which is having an indelible mark in different spheres of life; one of the most devastating sectors being education.
Students and teachers have remained victims of the Cameroon Anglophone armed conflict as schools frequently suffer attacks.
Such attacks remain a cause for concern as government officials and separatist leaders often resort to a blame game, while teachers, pupils and students bear the brunts of the deadly conflict.
Despite calls from human rights advocates that combatants exercise restraint in public arenas such as schools, churches and hospitals, the reverse rather remains the reality on the ground.
The latest crackdown that has left education stakeholders in grieve is the attack on Government Bilingual High School (GBHS) Ekondo Titi, a locality in Cameroon’s South West region, Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
According to local media reports, dozens of unidentified armed men infiltrated the institution during lecture hours, shooting dead 4 students and a teacher; rendering many others injured.
While government officials and separatist leaders trade words as to who carried out the attack, the All Anglophone Teachers’ Union (AATTU) consider it as nothing else than callousness.
In a press release dated Friday, November 26, 2021, AATTU condemns in strong terms the use of schools to settle political scores.
“We, – members of the AATTU decided to condemn with vehemence, this senseless, barbaric carnage once again carried out on another school premises, a place that should be considered a sanctum; which is supposed to be held sacrosanct by all; a campus where children willingly go to enjoy the basic human rights to education,” the disgruntled teachers revealed.
As days go by, the learning environment becomes more and more hostile to school pupils, students and teachers.
At a point, one could be compelled to question why combatants chose to wreck such cruelty on a people just because they hunger knowledge.
“We find it a real display of atavism and regression into a savage form of existence; that children whose only desire is the quest for education are diabolically massacred in schools.
“It is sickening and overwhelming to note that a teacher, whose greatest joy is to impart knowledge and skills to learners, is shamelessly slaughtered with maniacal glee by persons with insidious intentions,” they frustrated regretted in the release.
Like any other member of the society, the disgruntled teachers feel that the moment has come for a ceasefire so that education stakeholders could freely exercise their duty.
Independent and Astute Reporting
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