Tired of waiting for the end of the so-called ‘anglophone crisis’ which has paralysed schools, universities and law courts in two English-speaking provinces, heads of private higher education institutions, or HEIs, are planning to reopen in October in spite of a government order postponing the start of the new academic year.
Students, academics, schoolteachers and lawyers in the anglophone Northwest and Southwest provinces are continuing their protests against alleged linguistic, cultural and educational injustices by the government, which responded to their strikes and boycotts with increasing clampdowns, violence and arrests of protesters.
While the decision of the government to postpone the start of the new academic year until January has been accepted in the public sector, the private higher education institutions, known by their French acronym IPES, have unexpectedly announced they will defy the order, reported Camer.be.
At a meeting of the Association of North West Private Higher Education Institutions, the institutions' owners instructed the members to make immediate preparations for enrolments for the 2017-18 academic year, in a declaration that opened by stating: “Courses will start in all private institutions of higher education in October 2017,” reported Camer.be.
The association's members stressed their role as economic operators, regretting the stalemate caused by the crisis and the death of their businesses. “The economic and social activities in the Northwest and Southwest have plummeted and our economic potential is lost to the benefit of other regions and neighbouring countries. This scandal must stop. The future of our children is being destroyed by this monster,” Camer.be reported them as stating.
They called on the government to open “frank and sincere dialogue with all parties concerned with an aim of finding solutions to the current socio-political crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions”.
It also called for the release of all those arrested, and put forward proposals to help solve the crisis, recognising the English-speaking community faced social and economic problems.
Meanwhile, on 27 July the trial before a military tribunal in Yaoundé of 26 activists arrested following demonstrations in November and December 2016 was adjourned until 30 August, reported Camer.be.
This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.
Anglophone crisis – Academics, students stand firm
Private higher education institutions set up association
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