By Amina Hilda
The Minister of Higher Education, Jacques Fame Ndongo, has asked the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bamenda (UBa) to appease the institution’s striking lecturers by presenting a payment plan for their unpaid allowances.
He made the statement October 17 in a letter addressed to the UBa’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Theresa Nkuo Akenji.
Prof Game Ndongo said the VC should “kindly put in place a payment plan for the academic services requested by these teachers”.
He also asked the Rectors and Vice-Chancellors of the nation’s 11 state universities to henceforth organize institutional dialogues in line with a government resolution.
Lecturers of the University of Bamenda are reported to have been on strike since the start of this month.
Among their demands is the payment of bonuses for additional hours of teaching, supervision of dissertations and theses, defense juries, semester exams, vacations and internal research bonuses.
In a bid to pressure authorities to address these demands, the varsity dons signalled their intentions for a strike on October 5.
This was through a press statement from the National Union of Higher Education Teachers (SYNES).
In the SYNES release, Higher Education Teachers, especially those of the University of Bamenda, said they were going to follow the footsteps of the OTS movement, led by some secondary school teachers.
According to reports, some lecturers who attempted to lecture on Tuesday, October 17, got warnings from their colleagues.
The colleagues reportedly removed them from lecture halls, threatening to sanction those who go against the trade union order.
Further reports also say Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) at the University of Bamenda have not received any stipends for the past one year.
Minister Fame Ndongo’s intervention, they hope, will provide them much needed relief.
However, the lecturers also desire that the Minister’s reaction will not end only at the level of demanding the presentation of a payment plan.
They want their allowances paid.