SOCIAL PROTECTION IN THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF CAMEROON: A CASE STUDY OF LINK-UP (NGO)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Cameroon being a developing country in Sub Saharan Africa is characterized by a poorly developed social welfare system. As a result of this limitation, many orphans and vulnerable children find it very difficult or impossible to get access to educational institutions. Those who manage to gain admission into these institutions attend school without the basic school requirements hence are victims of constant school drive and in the end some finally drop out of the school system completely.
The Cameroonian educational system plays a major role towards the achievement of these goals but unfortunately, does not make special provisions to cater for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children, at least materially. The current forms of assistance provided by the Government through the Ministries of Secondary Education and Social Affairs are as follows:
1. The department of educational planning, cooperation and Assistance offers bursaries ranging from 10,000frs (16 Euros) to 25,000 frs (41 Euros) annually to deserving students. Unfortunately, this motivation is based only on academic excellence, a condition which by design does not favour orphans and vulnerable children. Equally, prize-giving awards by schools and scholarships offered by Elites and economic operators are based only on academic performance and not on how needy the child could be.
2. There is an inter-ministerial action between the Ministries of Social Affairs and Secondary Education towards the exoneration of registration fees and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) levies. This action too is limited only to physically handicapped students and children of disabled parents in public schools. Orphans and vulnerable children are not particularly considered.
3. Trained Guidance councilors are now available in some of the Government schools to cater for the academic, vocational and psycho-social needs of students in general. Again no special attention is paid to the plight of needy orphans and vulnerable children within the school.
With such a system in place, it is practically impossible for the Cameroon Government to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of Universal Basic Education, without engaging the participation of stake holders in the public and private sector from the national and international community.
Keywords: Social Inclusion, Educationally, Marginalized, Children, Intervention.