The World Bank joins the Global Partnership for Education to provide CFA57.42 billion for basic education in Cameroon. The financing was announced last Nov 27 during the second ordinary session of the Steering Committee of the Cameroon Education Reform Support Project (Parec).
These additional resources will be used for the recruitment of 6,000 teachers out of the 12,000 previously planned, the extension of the free distribution of essential textbooks to all public elementary school in the country, the training of 120,000 teachers (public and private) in the use of the new educational roadmap, and the enrolment of more than 40,000 pupils in community pre-school centers in rural areas.
The money will also be used to systematize the assessment of learning achievements both in primary and lower secondary schools, to set up and gradually decentralize an integrated information and education management system, to support schools in communes hosting refugees and internally displaced persons, and to introduce performance-based financing in 5,000 public elementary school throughout the country to improve their pperformance.
The Minister of Basic Education (Minedub), Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, who is also the president of the Parec steering committee said, "we welcome this prospect which reinforces the indicators for improving the quality of education, such as the number of teachers to be recruited, the number of textbooks to be distributed and the rate of textbook ownership per student, etc., as well as the extension of the Parec implementation period from 4 to 6 years."
"It should be seen as an invitation to become more involved in the Parec program to meet the challenges we face regarding the new targets and activities introduced by this additional funding,” he said.
This additional funding is specifically targeted at communes hosting refugees in the Adamaoua, East, Far North, and North regions identified as Priority Education Zones. Of the 40 or so communes hosting refugees, 21 have been selected as beneficiaries for this first year.
Permanent shortage of teachers
To compensate for the permanent shortage of teaching staff observed in Cameroon's public nursery and elementary schools, the recruitment of 12,000 teachers was initially planned.
The CFA57 billion financing brings the total number of teachers to be integrated to 18,000. A few months ago, the Minister of Basic Education gave the green light for the recruitment of 3,000 teachers holding the Certificate of Aptitude for Nursery and Primary School Teachers.
Together with the National Participatory Development Program, the Social Nets Project and the Health System Performance Strengthening Project, Parec is the result of the financing agreement signed in 2019 between Cameroon and the World Bank for an amount of CFA77 billion, including CFA51 billion in grants. With the additional financing, the overall amount is estimated at CFA134 billion.
Parec, which covers four ministries (Basic Education, Secondary Education, Higher Education, and Employment and Vocational Training), aims to improve the management of the resources made available to the education sector to improve quality, ensure equity, good governance and inclusion. It seeks to increase the student-teacher ratio from 43% in 2019 to 95% in 2025.