The Cameroon office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, has donated modern Information and Communication Technology, ICT equipment, to the country’s Secondary Education Ministry officials to support an e-learning initiative that was launched last month.

Cameroon on 2 June launched an E-learning program intended to enable secondary school students of certificate examination levels to cover more ground in their curriculums as they resumed school on 1 June after a nearly three-month temporary holiday triggered by the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The equipment, which included high definition TV cameras, projectors, hard drives, internet modems, laptops, and other accessories, was handed over to Secondary Education Minister Professor Pauline Nalova Lyonga by UNESCO’s country representative in Cameroon and the body’s Regional Director for Central Africa, Salah Khaled, at a ceremony in the capital, Yaounde, on 26 June.

Cameroon's Secondary Education Minister speaking at a ceremony to receive the UNESCO donation on 26 June 2020.

Lyonga expressed gratitude to UNESCO for the support saying the donation was timely as it has come to boost the government’s efforts of fostering online learning especially in the current context of Covid-19.

“I am very delighted because UNESCO has started building the infrastructure that we need as far as our distance learning program is concerned,” Prof Lyonga said.

To Salah Khaled, the UNESCO gifts are in line with its mission of supporting Cameroon’s government initiatives geared towards fostering learning in all ramifications.

“The handing over of this equipment is to make sure that we assist in setting up a modern production studio that will record lessons which can then be transmitted through radio, television, mobile phones, internet or via any other digital medium,” said Khaled.

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About Cameroon’s e-learning program

Last month, the Central African nation’s Secondary Education Ministry launched an online learning platform to allow students, who had stayed so long out of school, to come up to speed with their lessons, while also attending classes physically before their certificate examinations which will be taken later this month.

The program, which is also being technically supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and mobile telephony company, Orange Cameroun, entails uploading more than 300 different lessons on a website dedicated to that purpose. Students have been logging onto the website and either downloading the notes or reading them directly from the platform.

“It’s important that we are here to support education. This online and distance learning is what we have done in many other countries. So, we are fully prepared to support Cameroon. We are going to develop a short term program in this regard,” Frédéric Debord, Director General of Orange Cameroun had said of the initiative at its launch.

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