Education in Cameroon

Education in Cameroon

Education in Cameroon is among the best in Africa.Fact|date=July 2008

Primary and secondary school

Education is compulsory through the age of 14 years."Cameroon". [ "2005 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor"] . Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor (2006). "This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.] Primary school education has been free since 2000; however, families must pay for uniforms and book fees. Tuition and fees at the secondary school level remain unaffordable for many families.

In 2002, the gross primary enrollment rate was 108 percent. Gross enrollment ratios are based on the number of students formally registered in primary school and do not necessarily reflect actual school attendance. In 2001, 84.6 percent of children ages 10 to 14 years were attending school. As of 2001, 64 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.

Fewer girls enroll in primary school in Cameroon than boys. In 2001, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child identified a number of problems with the educational system in Cameroon, including rural/urban and regional disparities in school attendance; limited access to formal and vocational education for children with disabilities; children falling behind in their primary education; a high dropout rate; lack of primary school teachers; and violence and sexual abuse against children in schools. Early marriage, unwanted pregnancy, domestic chores and certain socio-cultural biases also contribute to low education rates. Domestic workers are generally not permitted by their employers to attend school.

The adult literacy rate is 67.9%. [UN human development indicators.] In the southern areas of the country almost all children of primary-school age are enrolled in classes. However, in the north, which has always been the most isolated part of Cameroon, registration is low. Most students in Cameroon do not go beyond the primary grades. There has been an increasing trend of the smartest students leaving the country in recent years to study abroad and end up settling there, the so-called "brain drain".

Two separate systems of education were used in Cameroon after independence. East Cameroon's system was based on the French model, West Cameroon's on the British model. The two systems were merged by 1976. Christian mission schools have been an important part of the educational system. The country has institutions for teacher training and technical education. At the top of the educational structure is the University of Yaoundé. There is, however, a growing trend for the wealthiest and best-educated students to leave the country in order to study and live abroad, creating a brain drain.

The academic year in Cameroon runs from September to June, at which time, end of year examinations are always written. The General Certificate of Education(GCE)both Ordinary and Advanced levels are the two most qualifying exams in the Anglophone part of Cameroon. [ [ ] ] Students who graduate from a five year secondary school program have to sit for the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level,and those who graduate from a two year high school program have to sit for the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level. [ [ ] ] So far, the GCE advanced level and the Baccalaureate ( the French Equivalent of academic attainment)are the two main entrance qualifications into Cameroon's institutions of higher learning. [ [ ] ]

Higher education

Although Cameroon boast of a sprawling cache of junior academic institutions, its well of higher institutions however, is rather scanty. Until date there are barely six state run universities in (Buea,Douala,Yaounde,Dschang and Ngaoundere) and only a handful of thriving private universities like the Catholic University of Science and Technology (BUST) and the Fotso Victor University in the west province. [ [ INHEA | Cameroon Higher Education Profile ] ]

The University of Buea is the only Anglo-Saxon style university in Cameroon, and the rest of Cameroon's five state managed universities are run on the francophonie model. [] Cameroon's universities are strictly managed by the central government, with the Pro-chancellors and Rectors of these universities adamantly appointed by presidential decree.The minister of higher Education is the Chancellor of Cameroon's state universities. In all, Cameroon's higher education has been a success since independence, with thousands of its graduates mostly consumed by the public service in Cameroon.Nonetheless, an merging number of private higher technical institutions of learnng like the Nacho university, Fonab Polythenic, and many others are beginning to reshape the predominantly general education style of education that for over three decades has been the turf of most anglophone students in Cameroon

Universities in Cameroon include:
* Bamenda University of Science & Technology
* University of Buea
* University of Douala
* University of Dschang
* University of Ngaoundere
* University of Yaounde (two campuses)
* Yaounde Catholic University
* The International Relations Institute of Cameroon - IRIC (yaounde)
* St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Major Seminary (Bambui)
* Siantou and Ndi Samba Schools of Higher Learning (Yaounde)
* Highlands University (P)


External links

* [ Cameroon Universities List]
*fr icon [ Les Universities du Cameroun at CamerounContact]
* [ International Network for Higher Education in Africa's Cameroon profile page]

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