Biya’s condolence to family of slain teacher: formality or ridicule of education family

Many have expressed dissatisfaction with the condolence message from President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal, to the family of Boris Kevin Tchakounte.The condolence message comes less than 24 hours after teachers were brutalised and dispersed with water canons and teargas for protesting for better working conditions at their colleague’s funeral.Stabbed to death on January 14 by his own student, Boris Kevin’s death was the first of a series of violent happenings in schools across the country. The incident raised concerns on the safety of not only teachers, but other stakeholders in the academic sector including students.Responding to Boris’ death, Minister Nalova Lyonga criticised the way the teacher had reacted to the student in the first place, reigniting the question on the place and security of the teacher.Like is the case mostly, the topic of violence in schools was quickly swept under the carpet, as teachers took back to the classroom. Not even calls for boycott of classes by teachers seemed to move the ever rigid Yaounde regime.Yesterday, thousands of teachers and well wishers turned up for Boris Kevin’s funeral, and later reignited calls for better working conditions for teachers.The government once more failed to show that it had learned any lessons from the raging Anglophone crisis that had taken over 3,000 lives, clamping down on the teachers dressed in their professional robes.The number one statesman, President Paul Biya who would have been expected to hear the plight of teachers as usual maintained an unexplainable silence, resurfacing today to express his condolence.While we hold that the wish is a mere formality, others believe it is a subtle message to the protesting teachers whose expectations and demands are likely still a far fetched dream in the current context.Mimi Mefo Info

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