By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
Some 300,000 students have been earmarked to benefit from the Secondary Education Skills Development Project, SESDP.
The information was disclosed in Douala during a joint Ministerial mission carried out by the Secondary Education Minister, Prof. Nalova Lyonga and the Minister of Employment and Vocational Training, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, from 27 to 28 April 2023.
The two Ministers were accompanied by their counterparts from the Ministries of Youth and Civic Education, MINJEC, Agriculture and Rural Development, MINADER; Fisheries and Animal Industries, MINEPIA; and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, MINPMEESA.
The project’s budget is estimated to at 112.4 million Euros, approximately FCFA 73.67 billion. SESDP aims to improve equitable access to quality secondary education and technical and vocational training adapted to the labour market, with a focus on girls.
According to the project, the objective is to operationalise through a number of reforms especially the learning environment in general secondary education, capacity building for school heads and new teachers, the quality and relevance of skills development packages as well as the strengthening of the skills development system’s institutional capacity.
The 300,000 students will be enrolled in 350 targeted ESGs supported by the project and 10,000 girls in ESGs in disadvantaged areas individually supported by the project. In addition, 10,000 new teachers, 3,700 heads of Ets and assistants will also benefit as well as 300 learners from window One of the Competitive Skills Development Mechanism, MCDC.
Among other things, the project will also benefit 1600 trainees from 100 MCDC Window 2 SMEs and 5. 6,000 trainees who are members of 200 informal social economy structures in MCDC Window 3. The project to run from 2021 to 2025 will projected in four priority sectors targeting 91 priority professions.
The project comes on the heels of a series of analytical studies conducted on the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system, including the one entitled: “Skills for employment and economic diversification in Cameroon,” by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon and the World Bank (WB),
It was concluded that, “Cameroon’s TVET system does not produce the types and adequate levels of SKILLS that can meet the current demand for the formal sector of the economy and ensure the economic transformation (diversification and competitiveness) expected by 2035.”
Among other things, the project seeks target learners and teachers from General Secondary Education (GSE) schools in rural or semi-urban areas, most disadvantaged girls and disadvantaged learners in areas of low girls’ schooling (Adamawa, East, Far North, North), as well as internally displaced learners or refugees from the Northwest and Southwest regions.
SESDP is an initiative of the Government of Cameroon and the World Bank, implemented since December 21, 2021 in Cameroon. This project aims at reforming the General Secondary Education sub-system and the Skills Development System.
It seeks to promote equitable access to quality General Secondary Education with a focus on girls. In addition, it aims to match technical and vocational training with the needs of the labour market. It is enforced by the Ministries of Secondary Education (MINESEC) and Employment and Vocational Training (MINEFOP).
SESDP has four components, namely to support to the General Secondary Education subsystem; Support to the Skills Development System implemented by MINEFOP and MINESEC, Technical Assistance and Project Management followed up by the Coordination Unit.