By David Atangana
Two primary school teachers have been killed in Boyo Division of the North West Region as calls intensify for effective school resumption in the restive English-speaking Regions of Cameroon.
Fonjang Eric Denis, Head Master of GS Soalam in Mbessa, was killed alongside another teacher, Ndim John Budji on Saturday, September 2.
The two teachers are the latest victims among thousands of students and teachers who have been forced by armed separatists to pay the price for advocating for children to go to school.
Local sources in Boyo say the teachers were targeted and killed after attending a meeting concerning school resumption in Belo Subdivision, the administrative unit of Boyo Division.
“They were killed around Ijim Mountain Forest Saturday September 2, 2023,” a local source told MMI.
“They were from Belo, where they had taken part in a basic education Subdivisional sector conference to prepare for school resumption on Monday the September 4, 2023.”
Primary and secondary schools in Cameroon, based on the official school calendar, are due to resume classes on Monday, September 4, 2023, for the new academic year. But in the English-speaking Regions, schools might only resume on a later date owing to rumours of a separatist-imposed lockdown.
Fingers pointed at separatists
The killing of the two teachers has been blamed on Ambazonia fighters, who have previously opposed school resumption in the two Anglophone Regions as part of their quest to separate the two regions from the rest of the country.
Since 2017, the separatists have waged a war against education in the two regions, resulting the burning of several schools, killing of students and teachers.
A source in Boyo, who spoke to MMI on condition of anonymity, believes the two teachers in Belo were killed by no other than the Ambazonia fighters.
“From what we know, they were killed by Amba fighters,” he said in the brief conversation with MMI.
However, no separatist group has claimed responsibility.
This year, calls for a complete school resumption in the Anglophone Regions have been massive. Religious leaders, education authorities, government officials and even the media are pushing for an all-out school resumption in the two Regions where some children have not seen the four walls of a classroom since 2016.
While sensitisation talks intensify across the regions, rumours circulated about a two-week lockdown reportedly imposed by some separatist groups to frustrate school resumption. It is also alleged they have set their own date for school resumption.
School boycott has lost popularity over the years as parents keep yearning for their children to go to school.
Many say those still holding unto school boycott should examine their consciences and consider how a future without education will look like for the deprived children.