CAMEROON: Distance training offers new opportunities

Dominique Kenfack, a Cameroonian graduate in agronomy who had been unemployed for three years, was able to retrain thanks to distance courses provided by the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), reports the Tribune in Yaounde. After a year's intensive study, he found a job with a non-governmental organisation that was setting up access to ICTs in remote areas. The Tribune says distance education offered by national and foreign establishments is attracting many Cameroonians, both in work and unemployed: since 2004 hundreds have signed on for AUF's 30 courses, and the Ministry of Higher Education has made distance learning official in a number of universities.

It quotes Ernest Guadjio, a teacher at Yaounde-1 University as saying: "By following distance courses, candidates continue to carry out their salaried activities, look after their families or prepare for another diploma. It's an opportunity to acquire complementary skills, complete a degree you didn't finish, or to specialise. The degrees gained are the same as from a university, and no-one should know you've taken them by correspondence."

Disadvantages identified by students included cuts in electricity while taking exams on the internet, which led to failure for one candidate. And, for Kenfack, the cost of fees and equipment. But he said it was worth it.
Full report on the Tribune site
Information on AUF distance courses