Persistent Discrimination of South-westerners in Colleges in the North West Region
By Paul Wokeni
Members of the South West Teachers Association (SWETA) have decried the marginalisation of South West Students in the admissions process in state universities. SWETA published a document that reveals an overwhelming marginalisation of students of South West origin in the admissions into the University of Buea (UB), University of Bamenda (UBa), Ecole Normale Superieur (ENS). Statistics of admissions reveal startling information of systematic marginalisation of South Westerners. Evidence indicate an outright refusal to admit students from the South West in the University of Bamenda and other state-owned professional institutions allied to the North West Region.
The revelations were made in a general assembly meeting of SWETA to take stock of the effectiveness of schooling in the region and preparation for the 2017 National Education Forum in Cameroon. At the Higher Institute for Transport and Logistics (HITL) in Bamenda student enrollment for 2016, shows 74.38% of students were from the North West region, 12.50% from the South West and 13.13% of were Francophones. At the Higher Institute for Commerce and Management (HICM) Bamenda 76.32% of the students are from the North West Region, 8.52% from the South West Region and 15.16% are Francophones.
At the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Bamenda (FHS Bamenda) the statistics reveal 68.70% of the students enrolled are North Westerners, South Westerners make up a mere 10.69% and 20.61% are Francophones. These trends are similar at the Higher Technical Teachers' Training College (HTTTC) Bamenda and the College of Technology (COLTECH) Bamenda.
Meanwhile for sister institutes in the South West region there is disguised pressure to claim these are anglo-saxon institutions for everybody who speaks English. The same justification is not accorded for institutions in the North West region, but merely seen as a preserve for regional interests.
According to the President of SWETA, Chief Professor Agbor Bechem, these statistics do not only debunk the myth of systematic marginalisation of north-westerners but also reveal a trend of north-westerners systematically discriminating against bonafide Cameroonians from tax-paying parents to study in state institutions in the North West Region.
SWETA, at the close of the meeting, called for a quick response of South West stakeholders to address this anomaly by ensuring that schools, colleges and universities in the South West region address the catchment and provide preference for students of South West origin, and further urged its members to participate constructively in the upcoming national education forum to make suggestions that will improve on the welfare of learners in the region. See Publication [Download Marginalisation of South Westerners].
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