Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chofor Che ― Primary education without government coercion; The case of Cameroon

via. African Liberty

"On Thursday the 20th of August 2015, the government of Cameroon closed down over 250 so called clandestine primary schools. This government measure also included the closing down of some Muslim religious institutions which the government claimed were operating without authorization.   According to a report by Africa 24 aired on television on Sunday the 23rd of August 2015, these measures are being put in place because the government of Cameroon cannot allow unauthorized institutions of primary education continue to function, especially as some government officials claim that the teachers are not well trained to properly teach children. Other analysts add that due to attacks by the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, such establishments could attract bomb attacks and thus a bad omen for state security. 
This scenario raises a lot of contentious issues. Is this a situation of government coercion against freedom to primary education or does the state have the obligation to ensure that poorly trained teachers do not impart wrong knowledge to young Cameroonians? In the context of the war against the Islamic sect Boko Haram, is the state of Cameroon correct to take such measure for the security of the whole country? 
In Eamonn Butler’s 2014 publication entitled ‘Foundations of Free Society’, he alludes that according to a study by Professor James Tooley, it was proven that in countries like India, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, most children were attending non-government schools. Many of these schools were unofficial schools not recognized by government. Some of these schools received charitable assistance and none benefitted from state funding. Even in such circumstances, children who went to such schools performed better than those in government schools. Professor Tooley also found that in government schools the rate of absenteeism was very high. Private schools had better facilities including toilets."

Read the full article HERE.