Education issues

Absenteeism of teachers is a reason generally considered to contribute to the poor level of education in the country. Teachers from both English and French sub-systems, for cultural and historical reasons, still operate as separate in the educational system, and this prevents "teachers from developing a joint pedagogical repertoire about professional matters and to engage in productive debates around new discourses and repertoires such as ICTs in support of teaching," even if as private individuals, they "appear to be open to the challenges of modern Cameroon and multilingual communication in large urban centres."

Textbook review
In 1995, the National Forum on Education strongly recommended "the insertion of local knowledge and practices in the school curriculum to make the education system more relevant to the learners." For so, the Institute of Rural Applied Pedagogy (IRAP) put into place adapted programs and an integrated training that combined general knowledge with work practices (agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, brick laying, carpentry, etc.). However, the system was not perfectly balanced: traditional subjects (i.e. Mathematics, Science, French language) were adequately developed, whereas the new subjects were not studied to adapt to the different situations, nor were considered other needs (in rural zones, children are forced to leave school because they are needed to provide enough means of support to their family). The project wasn't a complete failure: some of the initiatives were, in fact, interesting and proved that the approach was somewhat correct, but had to be more precisely studied - possibly by integrating also teachers' and students' experiences, also outside schools.

The Cameroonian system is deeply divided into two sub-systems: even if formally the two have been merged since 40+ years, differences of approach in teachers are more than evident. This is a real issue, since it affects the possibilities of reforming in a more competitive and efficient way the system. Another issue is the complete lack of a programme for including local languages in the educational system. Main reasons are the lack of Government support to the proposal, and the factual impracticability of some of the proposals: since there are more than 270 local languages in Cameroon, picking at random a language to be taught in all country "would generate political feelings of superiority that may endanger national unity." There are some programmes (both public and private) to teach those local languages at school and in other facilities, but there are anyway mixed feelings towards them: they are spoken the most in the ordinary lives of Cameroonians, but there is still a "social stigma" towards those who cannot speak anything other than an indigenous languages; on the contrary, being proficient in English or French is something to be proud of (especially teachers are likely to "show off"), but still pupils are not stimulated in using them at home, because of the low literacy level of their families.

Education of students with special needs
In 2010, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child stated that "is deeply concerned at the persistence of de facto discrimination among children in the enjoyment of their rights. It is especially concerned that girls, indigenous children, children with disabilities, refugee children, children from poor rural areas, and children in street situations suffer particular disadvantages with regard to education, access to health and social services."

Impact of Boko Haram violence
Schools in the Far North Region, such as Fotokol, have been impacted by the Boko Haram insurgency, which has spilled into border areas from neighboring Nigeria. In January 2015, many schools in the Far North did not re-open immediately after the Christmas vacation following the December 2014 Cameroon clashes, and it was reported that "Thousands of teachers, students and pupils have fled schools located along the border due to bloody confrontations between the Cameroon military and suspected Boko Haram militants." The Cameroonian military has deployed forces to ensure safety for students attending schools.