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Cameroon Launches Special Operation to Provide Birth Certificates to 80,000 Level III Pupils

Cameroon Launches Special Operation to Provide Birth Certificates to 80,000 Level III Pupils

Paru le mercredi, 27 mars 2024 07:44

On March 22 in Yaoundé, Minister of Basic Education, Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa, initiated a special operation to issue birth certificates to level 3 pupils, namely those in the level lll (Class five and six). The goal is to issue 80,000 birth certificates to underprivileged pupils in Cameroon’s public primary schools within two months, enabling them to participate in official examinations. Without birth certificates, children are unable to sit for the CEP (the French equivalent of the First School Leaving Certificate-FSLC).

According to the 2022/2023 school map, approximately 1,569,660 primary school children lack a birth certificate, including 276,280 in level III. The absence of this document could jeopardize their participation in examinations and competitions in the 2024 session and impede their further studies. To salvage these children’s school year, the Minister of Basic Education has opted for a late registration operation for unregistered pupils. This special operation is part of Programme d’appui à la réforme de l’éducation au Cameroun (Parec), a World Bank-funded initiative aiming to promote universal learning in Cameroon, and is also supported by UNICEF.

As part of this operation, Laurent Esso, the Minister of Justice, has directed the presidents of the courts of appeal and the public prosecutors attached to these courts to hold special mobile court hearings in their respective jurisdictions to issue substitute birth certificates to pupils at the end of primary school. These hearings are scheduled to take place from April 1 to 19. Manaouda Malachie, the Minister for Public Health, has taken measures to expedite the issuance of certificates of apparent age. Georges Elanga Obam, the Minister for Decentralisation and Local Development, has requested commune mayors to facilitate the issuance of these birth certificates.

Cameroon offers free birth registration for children under nine months old, yet only 33.9% of children under five have one (MICS 2014). Those who miss the deadline pay fees.  "When you exceed the legal 90 days, that's when you'll have stamps to pay," said Jean-Pierre Edjoa, director of child social protection at the Ministry of Social Affairs. Some parents find this process expensive and time-consuming.

Patricia Ngo Ngouem

Dernière modification le mercredi, 27 mars 2024 07:47

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