Of late there has been a ‘back to school’ chorus in the media. But the simple questions I have asked over the past few weeks but received no answers for them are the following:
1. We have children agonising in the refugee community in and out of camps. We have children battling with disease and other survival issues among the IDP community in the forests, hills and caves. So which children is the ‘back to school’ advocacy targeting?
2. In the past five decades French Cameroun has actively pursued a deliberate policy of and adopted measures aimed at pauperisation of the people of Ambazonia. Grinding poverty is evident everywhere in Ambazonia. French Cameroun’s genocidal war in Ambazonia has aggravated the humiliating condition of abject poverty of the people of Ambazonia. In the face of this excruciating poverty situation it comes to me as a huge surprising and disappointment that the advocates of ‘back to school’ have maintained a shouting silence on the economics of ‘back to school’: fees of all kinds, learning resources and uniforms. If the advocacy were sincere why is it not accompanied by advocacy for free education. Owners of schools, religious bodies and others, would be hard put to deny the charge of being interested only in unjustly enriching themselves from the poverty and humiliation of the generality of the masses.
3. This whole matter cannot be divorced from evident security, safety, human resource and infrastructure issues.
Ambazonia is occupied by French Cameroun troops. These are on the prowl. They are marauding troops. They rape, muder, burn, maim and abduct indiscriminately. Not even children are spared. Not even babies are spared. So in what conducive environment would schools reopen? These troops and the groups they have created as so-called “counter-terrorism measures” are preying around. They are ready and willing to murder those they chance upon.
Further, there are education-related human resources issues: teachers. Hundreds of school teachers have either been mudered or disappeared or abducted and illegally locked up or become IDPs or refugees. No one has so far talked about the teachers who are to teach children.
And no advocate of ‘back to school’ has said anything about the content of the education they are trying to compel children to submit to. It is often forgotten that one of the immediate triggers of the Ambazonian Revolution is massive and legitimate dissatisfaction with the the education for ignorance that French Cameroun has sought over the years to impose on Ambazonian children. That ‘Bantustan’ education project has not been fixed. If anything it continues to be pursued by French Cameroun and has evwn gone even gone on a higher gear. A telling random example is the deliberately misleading ‘English’ version of examination questions asked school children and students.
Further still, not a small number of schools have been razed to the ground by French Cameroun arsonist troops or have been converted into troop camps by those forces. Our advocates of ‘return to school’ have also maintained something of a conspiratorial silence over this matter. They also continue to be silent over classroom equipment, learning resources, and PTAs that play a key role in the governance of schools in their communities.
4. Finally, there are credible insider intelligence on the sinister plot by French Cameroun that hinges on its counter-intelligence strategy that hinges on ‘back to school’. Hence their ‘back to school’ campaign using various agents. We know what that strategy entails. The people of Ambazonia will not be made a fool of again and shall not suffer our children to be put in harm’s way under the very thin disguise of ‘return to school’.
By Prof. Carlson Anyangwe