In 1966 UNESCO declared September 8 International Literacy
“…to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.”

In Commemuration of the International Litracy Day 2020. (8 September 2020)

The Educational Future of the Majority of Children in English Speaking Cameroon whose educational journey was interupted by a political Crisis since 2016.

Some problems appear to be so big and overwhelming they seem almost impossible to solve. But stopping the cycle of illiteracy is one challenge that can be solved – one child and one adult at a time.

According to hhe International Crisis Group, an estimated 600,000-700-000 children have been out of school since 2016 and about 400 schools are closed making 80 percent of the schools across the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. It should be noted that presntly the few schools that are functional are only within the urban towns.

A society that can’t defend its children has no tomorrow : Putin condemned in November 2016 Europe’s handling of migrants and says the child rape in Austria shows ‘a dilution of national values.
How does this reflect the children affected by the Crisis in the North West South West Region?

I am not in the postion to father a Nation, but for the Children of a nation that are frustrated because of the power tussle, I’m praying Oh Lord for the spirit of wisdom and understanding to empower me Lord, give me the strength to bring hope to the Hopeless children.

I am not in the right position to think about the “status ” of the Nation and it destiny, it is my primary responsibility to tethink the Future of the Children. Education remains a major determinant of their future.

How many Children are left unguarded by the Anglophone Crisis remains the focus. So many questions left unasked and So many left unanswered. The children we gave birth rights today are moving without education,without birth certificates without shelter and safety to belong to the society.

Imagine what comes of a child that got no education, a child that got no home or that got no hope. What is the future of the children in the Anglophone- Zones of Cameroon.

I have heard from scores of parents who have been worried on how the absence of education had dealt with their children as the standards of parenting keep falling. One female parent explained to me the family situation stating there were no safeguarding concerns about her ex-partner having contact with their children during displacement and how the standards of parenting has dropped with children staying in displaced and seperated homes without schooling, despite her efforts to support the children financially unwanted pregnancies had plagued the premature careers of her little daugthers ages between 15-19 .

She cautioned and expressed the need of school gates always open for children especially the girls. She said ” I see only battery and assault in the future of my daugthers in marital homes instead of the strong abd educated partners I was preparing my Children for before the Anglophone Crisis..What will become of the future of my daughters without education?” Being in Bamenda without proper means to support these disppaced kids she lamented.

A therapist who gave her confidence said that in several cases NGOs and social workers have seemed to regard it as their role to persuade the paeties to ensure children aquire their rights to education, irrespective of the escalation of the crisis.

International Literacy Day, is celebrated annually on 8 September. The Anglophone Regions have withnessed three consequitive years without a peaceful September. This is instead an opportunity for other countries , civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.

The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.This has not been the case in the English-Speaking Regions of Cameroon.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by world leaders in September 2015, promotes, as part of its agenda, universal access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout people’s lives. Sustainable Development Goal 4 has as one of its targets ensuring all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them.

The 2019 Theme: Literacy and Multilingualism
International Literacy Day 2019 was an opportunity to express solidarity with the celebrations of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Special Needs Education, at which the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education was adopted.

International Literacy Day 2019 focused on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism.’ Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these literacy challenges and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

On the occasion of International Literacy Day 2019, the main characteristics of multilingualism in today’s globalized and digitalized world was discussed, together with their implications for literacy in policies and practice in order to achieve greater inclusion.

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.
What about the future of the Anglophone Children in particular?

I recommend you to start a community Library in a community to support the children affected by crisis who are left out of school.

Bongwong Justin Berinyuy

World Litracy Ambassador

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