Educational roots and socio-political twists of the Anglophone Problem in Cameroon’s nation-building process, 1961-2018
Keywords:Anglophone, Education, nation-building socio-political
In November 2016 when the Anglophone crisis broke out in Cameroon, one of the crucial considerations advanced by the petitioners against the state was its condescending posture towards the English-sub system of education loosely referred to as ‘Anglo-Saxon’ education. Although motivated and orientated by specific distresses of teachers’ and lawyers’ professional trade unions, the Anglophone protests since inception has maintained an effervescence of dissenting voices challenging the broader project of national unity and integration. The paper examines the role of post-independence administrative educational policies and reforms in fashioning a malcontented social narrative in the British bestowed regions of Cameroon. It argues that the long association of the people with British educational heritage created resistant cultural frontiers, which made efforts at educational harmonisation a paranoid take for assimilation. It further contends that the government choice of actions on certain educational policies, though informed by legal provisions were considered by conservative Anglophones as institutional trappings of absorption into French cultural dictates. The paper upholds that the failure to “Cameroonise” the educational system in the state project could be blamed on the dissociation between decision making on, and implementation processes of, the core values that could graft the two educational systems. The absence of this reconciliation perpetuated the public controversy on whether the educational preoccupations variously articulated by the All Anglophone Teachers’ Trade Unions harboured a hidden political identity agenda beyond the educational spectrum. The investigation makes appeal of primary and secondary data and draws conclusions based on qualitative historical analysis. The study submits that the debates on a preconceived political identity agenda associated with the educational grievances were swiftly generalised, misunderstood, misrepresented, or constructed to a conspiracy.
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