Since the publication of the results of the 2022 Common Entrance Examinations by the Ministry of Basic Education, many have described the examination as written by “Ghost pupils” in “Ghost Centers”.
Prior to the 2021/2022 Common Entrance Examination, the North West Regional Delegate for Basic Education in a release stated that the region has 281 centers, grouped into 255 operational centers, 16,081 pupils registered while 15,797 sat for the examination.
After the publication of the results, statistics from the same Delegation and same regional delegate now state that 573 schools registered 12,236 pupils in 195 centers. They were about 3561 pupils and 60 centers that are unaccounted for.
Since the start of the armed conflict, it has been difficult to have the exact number of children enrolled in schools across the crisis-hit North West region. School administrators, as well as Administrative Officers, have been accused of swelling the numbers, to justify their claims of “calm is returning” to the regions in conflict.
During the 2020/2021 school year, most schools in Donga Mantung, one of the hotspots of the ongoing war, opened their doors for the first time in four years whereas the Senior Divisional Officer has often visited schools in Nkambe Central at the start of the school year, giving the impression that, the crisis has not kept pupils and students in the division out of school.
During the 2020/2021 Common Entrance Examination in Government School Bamunka, Ngoketunjia Division, one of the accommodation centers in the North West Region, statistics of those present were wiped off as journalists were documenting them. School authorities later refused to respond to questions about the statistics in the center, a reporter has hinted at MMI.
In 2019, the government of Cameroon and NGOs had conflicting statistics on the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The Cameroon government via the Ministry of Territorial Administration put the figures at 152,000 with a 70% return of IDPs whereas the United Nations reputed for gathering such statistics stated at that time that the figures were over 500,000.
These glaring examples have once again proven that figures are manipulated, to show that the government is making efforts to resolve the crisis whereas the situation on the ground is deteriorating. With the education of children in such peril, the future remains bleak for the embattled regions.
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