By Stephen Ngam For SCCOPNews
More than three years since the colonial government of Cameroun launched a special recruitment of 1000 bilingual teachers to address grievances against the presence of French speaking teachers within the English sub-system of education in the sciences and technical subjects, some Southern Cameroonians who fell for the scam have gone without registration as state functionaries and cannot therefore receive any wages. Several among the over 200 Southern Cameroonian teachers involved in the scheme spoke to our staff, complaining that despite being assigned and taking orders from their Francophone masters in various schools in the Southern Cameroons, they have not been paid any salaries or received their civil service registration numbers.
One of the teachers, Christopher Che (not his real name) who was recruited and posted to GHS Bojongo, in the coastal city of Victoria, which the colonisers renamed Limbe, testified that they have been abandoned by the Camerounese government despite the risk they took to teach under the dangerous war situation across the Southern Cameroons.
“We have been going to the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reforms. We have written several petitions and issued requests to meet the minister, but nothing has changed. They sent us to the Sub Director in charge of Recruitment, Room 114, and the only response we got from there was that ‘authentications’ were not yet available. I shouldn’t have engaged myself in this mess’’ Mr. Che regretted.
Another teacher, Kelvin Fokwa (not his real name), who was also recruited and sent to a school in Bamenda, related a similar experience: “they told us last year (2019) that ‘authentications’ had come. They promised to solve our problems within three months. But from April to August, nothing came out of it” he lamented.
Taking a dig at the slow and disdainful way in which LRC treats anything that is likely to benefit Southern Cameroonians, Mr Fokwa declared: “In February 2020, the newly appointed Director of Recruitment started the process all over. He told us to wait again for two months. The two months waiting period has expired, but there has been no progress in the status of our documents. Our documents are still in the same position. When we went there again around June/July we told that nobody could enter the ministry again because of Covid-19”.
He further explained that “Everyone knows that the situation is extremely hard especially for teachers in the North West and South West regions due to the ongoing crisis. Why should the government treat us this way?” Mr Fokwa lamented. Note that the terms South West and North West Region are a colonial name used by the Yaounde regime to refer to the Southern Cameroons.
Other teachers we talked to (Ngamfon Tita, Njohbam and Akwanga) narrated the same ordeal and wondered why they are being discriminated against at a time Southern Cameroonians are fighting to break away from La Republique du Cameroun.
These punitive non-payment of salaries meted against teachers from the Southern Cameroons is another clear indication that Yaounde launched the special recruitment to deceive the international community and mask its marginalization and discrimination that has been ongoing over the past 60 years
Meanwhile, last minute information we received from a source at the LRC Ministry of Public Service revealed that the said structure intends to process the files of some 10.000 contract workers over the next 100 days and they believe the documents of these teachers shall be processed as well. It is a wait and see situation because battered as it is by the war, LRC may have to make a miracle before it finds funds to foot these extra expenses.
This article originally appeared in THINK LIKE A SCCOPPER, Volume 1 Issue 7. Click for more Think like a SCCOPper Edition 7.pdf