The CBC Health Services under its Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program has sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cameroon General Certificate of Education (GCE) Board to provide reasonable accommodation for all candidates with impairments in the conduct of end-of-course examinations. The formalization of the MoU took place at the GCE Board office in Buea on February 25, 2021.
The MoU aimed at supporting the Board in organizing inclusive end-of-course exams in the Anglophone sub-system of education in Cameroon was jointly signed by the Director of CBC Health Services, Prof. Tih Pius Muffih, and the Registrar of the GCE Board, Mr. Dang Akuh Dominic, representing the two structures.
The partnership between the CBC Health Services and the GCE Board in favour of candidates with disabilities during the end-of-course examination started in 2011 and both parties have worked progressively for better and conducive learning and teaching practices that ensure equal opportunities for all.
The fruit of the 10-year partnership has witnessed the CBC Health Services’ donation of equipment to facilitate the Brailling of examinations for candidates with visual impairment, and capacity development of some GCE Board staff on how to use the Brailling Embosser, and also started the revision of the examination policy in 2020.
The Director of the CBC Health Services, Prof. Tih observed with elation how gratifying it is to see the strides made by the GCE Board during the decade-long partnership in creating additional Special Accommodation Centers for candidates with impairments, the revision of regulations guiding the conduct of end-of-course examinations to accommodate the needs of candidates with disabilities, the timely Brailling of end-of-course examinations, ensuring that all candidates with profound vision impairments write their exams in favorable conditions like their sighted peers, and ensuring the presence of Sign Language Practitioners at special Accommodation Centers to support candidates with hearing impairments. These interventions, he noted, have resulted in more young Cameroonians with disabilities participating in these examinations and recording some excelling performances.
According to the Program Manager for the SEEPD Program Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac, the CBC Health Services will under the current partnership continue its advisory role to the GCE Board on inclusion; continue to revise the examination policy, refurbish special examination centers created by the GCE Board in BHS Buea and GHBS Bamenda; develop a guideline for the organization of inclusive end-of-course examination by the GCE Board, and accompany the GCE Board to implement the guideline.
The renewed MoU also seeks to work with the GCE Board to ensure the lifting of the ban on candidates with a visual impairment from writing certain subjects involving maps and diagrams, ensuring the accessibility of all questions to all candidates irrespective of their disability, look into the situation of candidates with hearing impairment who write in a language whose diction and syntax are different from the English Language, create more Special Accommodation Centers for Persons with Disabilities in remote areas of the country to take part in examinations and develop a strategy for conducting inclusive examinations.
The MoU was marked by the donation of a refurbished and equipped space at Baptist High School (BHS) Buea. According to the Inclusive Education Adviser for the CBC Health Services Mrs. Fobuzie Longla Bridget, the Center will give candidates with disabilities the chance to perform at their optimum, and in respect of examination confidentially. The Resource Center has been equipped with 8 computers installed with necessary software for the purpose. There are plans to add more computers at the Center and also extend to other Centers in remote communities as well as Higher Education Institutions.
This move has been greatly appreciated by the Chairman of the GCE Board, Prof. Ivo Leke Tambo who lauded the CBC Health Services for the assistive devices for Inclusive Evaluation, which Prof. Leke described as “A very important domain in Cameroon’s Education System”.
The event was witnessed by Mr. Tamfu Oliver Giyo who represented the CBC Education Secretary during the signing ceremony, Prof. Ayonghe Samuel, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Internal Control and Evaluation from the University of Buea, and a host of other dignitaries from the CBC Health Services and the GCE Board.
The work of the CBC Health Services in Inclusive Education under its Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) Program has been registering many wins and continues to work effortlessly for a better world for all.