By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi
The pioneer General Manager as well as Board Chairman of the Cameroon General Certificate of Education (GCE) Board are expected to be named in the days ahead following an October 22 presidential decree that overhauled the structures of the board.
President Biya in decree No2018/514 of 22 October 2018 redefined the laws that will hence guide the structures and functioning of the GCE Board. The Registrar of the Board will hence be referred to as “General Manager” to be assisted by a deputy. They will hence be appointed by a presidential decree for a mandate of three years renewable twice. They shall work under the supervision of the Board of Directors in their administrative, financial and technical management of the Board.
Article eight of the presidential decree states that “The Board of Directors shall comprise seven (7) members including the Chairperson.”
Members of the Board, in the new dispensation will comprise, a representative of the Presidency of the Republic, a representative from the Prime Minister’s Office, a representative of the Ministry of Secondary Education, a representative of the Ministry of Finance, Representative of the Ministry of Higher Education and a representative of the staff of the Board, elected by their peers.
The Decree further states that “the Chairperson and Members of the Board of Directors shall be appointed by the Decree of the President of the Republic for a three (3) year term renewable once”
The Presidential Decree, reorganising the Board has caused some significant and even worrisome changes. Unlike before, there will be no representative of Parents Association. The new text does not also make provision for any teachers’ representative at the Board and that of various education secretariats of lay-private and denominational schools.
Another controversy is that GCE Boards worldwide are headed by Registrars unlike the case of Cameroon wherein it will be headed by a Director General and Deputy Director General.
Many have already taken offence on the issue of the non-representation of teachers’ unions, considered to be the group that fought and bled for the creation of the Board.
People have been quick in pointing out that the Board of Directors, are all appointees from Government offices, apart from one who will be elected by GCE Board staff to represent them.
Also, there will be no representative from the University of Buea that used to play a significant part in the Board deliberations and co-signs Certificates issued by the Board.
Chapter 48 of the Presidential Decree states that “All previous provisions repugnant to this decree are repealed notably the provisions of Order No112/CAB/PM of 12 October 1993 to define and determine the administrative and financial organisation of the General Certificate of Education Board.”
The seven chapters and 51 articles of the presidential decree transforms the GCE Board into a para-statal with the recent reforms said to usher in financial autonomy and improve on the management of the Board.
Biya to appoint pioneer GCE Board General Manager, Board Chairman
By Atia Tilarious Azohnwi