For over four years now, children in the English-speaking part of Cameroon have not been able to go to school normally as in the French-speaking regions due to repeated attacks on schools by separatist fighters.
The government, cognizant of this, has taken a wide range of measures to curb the attacks and guarantee the rights of the children to education in the North West and South West regions.
Military sources say that troops chased separatist fighters from at least a hundred schools in the English-speaking Northwest region stepping up security in these schools.
The governor of the North West region, Adolphe Lele Lafrique in his recent outings said apart from what the soldiers are doing to ensure the safety of children, he has asked the population to organize themselves in vigilante groups to create security around the schools.
The government of Cameroon through the Ministry of Communication added that the military where possible, is escorting teachers and students who are going to schools in various towns and villages.
Other measures taken by the Ministries in charge of education, is merging the schools into school centers with each school maintaining its name. To the authorities, it is to guarantee the safety of the children because security forces can’t be provided to all the schools at the same time. For example, some secondary schools around Limbe, South West region, whose campuses are situated in risky zones, are now operating in Government Bilingual High School, Limbe. Same thing in Bum Sub Division, North West region: Government Secondary School Saff, Kichowi, Konene and Buabua have their campuses transferred to Government Bilingual High School, Fonfuka, where security is tight.
Over four years of violence and instability in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon have left more than 800,000 children out of school, according to UNICEF. Without urgent action, and without a commitment from all parties to the conflict to protect education in all its forms, the future of these children is at risk.
The government of Cameroon has therefore been struggling to reinforce the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that education is a fundamental human right for everyone.