A bilingual teacher has been in custody, at the Gendarmerie Brigade in Sangmelima, South region of Cameroon for over a week now.
Mr. Fongang Nathan, commonly called pastor, a 2013 graduate from Teacher’s Training College (ENS) Yaounde, was arrested Friday, September 13, 2019 for using the Anglophone crisis and the arrest of Professor Maurice Kamto as examples in classroom for Lower Sixth students at Evebe Esse High School. The institution is situated some 31 kilometres (about 20miles) from the Sangmelima central town.
On Wednesday September 11, Mr. Nathan was teaching English lessons to francophone students. While using the competency-based approach, Nathan asked questions relating to current happenings in Cameroon.
With the competency-based approach (CBA), students are allowed to advance based on their ability to master a skill at their own pace regardless of environment. It is a practical oriented teaching module, introduced in Cameroon’s educational system to facilitate learning. The CBA is also known as, participatory approach
‘’He was using the Stay Tune book, 1st year to teach the students. Here are his questions:
1)What is happening in the North West and South West Cameroon regions?
2)Name some causes of a general conflict.
3)During a conflict, what can happen?
4)What solutions can be provided to resolve a crisis (conflict)?’’ said a source.
During the normal classroom discussion session, the dialogue platform called by the head of state was mentioned as a solution to the prevailing political situation in Cameroon.
“Can this dialogue hold without Maurice Kamto?’’ a student asked.
“If security forces are called to the dialogue table, why not dialogue with everyone including those in jail?’’ Mr Nathan responded.
Unconfirmed reports say after one of the students told her parent, local administrators were immediately notified, resulting to his arrest.
‘’The parent who was notified by her daughter, reported to the Evebe village chief. She questioned why topics relating to Kamto’s liberation were being taught in school, that is how the chief informed the DO,’’ a source narrated.
Anglophone Crisis, Kamto: Taboo Topics In Cameroon?
Mr Fongang Nathan lives in Sangmelima, and only travels to Evebe on Mondays and Thurdays to teach his students. Saidona Ali, the DO of Sangmelima who ordered for his arrest has not been in the town for days, Mimi Mefo Info was told.
Mobilisation In Evebe Against Nathan’s Arrest
The government has not reacted to the arrest of the bilingual teacher.
Relatives, students and other teachers have been calling for the release of Forgang Nathan. Having spent over one week behind bars, they are expressing worries about the profession especially now that Cameroon is facing political crises amid calls for dialogue.
‘’We are now very cautious in class, we cannot even mention the subject in class, else we face the consequences,’’ a teacher who fled the troubled region to teach in Francophone Cameroon told Mimi Mefo Info.
The English-Speaking regions of Cameroon have been at war for three years now, with thousands of lives lost and close to one million people displaced within and out of the country.
A National Dialogue called by the Head of State has been described as insincere by activists, fighting for an independent state called, Ambazonia.
By: Mimi Mefo
Mimi Mefo Info