Home » Minister Nalova Lyonga Wants Technical Schools To Create Innovations That Solve Local Problems

Minister Nalova Lyonga Wants Technical Schools To Create Innovations That Solve Local Problems

by Atlantic Chronicles


By Hope Nda & Andrew Nsoseka

The 2024 Open Business Days for technical and vocational schools in Cameroon was officially launched in Buea on Thursday, March 14, under the theme, “Entrepreneurship: Secondary Schools Showcasing the Made in Cameroon Label”.

Launching the event at Government Technical High School Molyko, Buea, Secondary Education Minister, Prof Nalova Lyonga, underscored that secondary schools in the country are now geared towards skill-based education, which teaches students how to solve local problems.

For this to become a reality, students and teachers must embrace digitalisation, distance learning and artificial intelligence, which are the core of today’s digital revolution.

Technical and vocational schools in Cameroon, she noted, are being gradually transformed into “authentic economic production facilities”.

They provide students with skills that guarantee their socio-professional integration into society upon leaving school.

The open business days launching in Buea brought together students from several technical and vocational schools in Cameroon, who showcased some of the choicest innovations they have made to solve local problems.

These innovations cut across electricity, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, welding, computer science, building and construction, among others.

Prof Nalova said the government has invested many resources to turn technical and vocational schools into industrial centres that provide students with the skills they need to turn local problems into business ventures.

She mentioned the introduction of new school syllabi for fields like renewable energy and digital technologies; the introduction of entrepreneurship as a course in secondary schools; the creation of 104 mini-incubators in technical and vocational schools in Cameroon and the creation of a distance education centre for digitalisation.

Before she toured the students’ exhibition stands, the MINESEC boss noted that all that the students were showcasing was locally made and that aligned with President Paul Biya’s import substitution policy.

“I want to see things that are providing solutions to local problems. That’s what secondary education should be doing, so that when you’re going to university you know what you are going to do that. You are from a secondary school that is so conscious of the problems of society and that you’re looking for solutions to those problems,” she said.

“And the government has established the three-year, integrated imports substitution plan, which is meant to support, and stimulate domestic production and consumption so that it can, as I said, solve the problem to things that we can have from abroad,” she added.

Present at the event were several officials, including the Secretary of State to the Ministry of Secondary Education in charge of Teacher’s Training; the Southwest Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai; the SDO for Fako, Viang Mekala, among other officials.

The Principal of GTHS Buea, Dr John Lyonga Efande, in a speech, lauded the strides of MINESEC to modernise and digitise education in Cameroon.


Students’ Innovations And Prizes

Among the interesting innovations students exhibited at the event was a solar charcoal cooker, manufactured by students of Government Bilingual Technical High School Bamenda.

The piece of work, which won the national prize for innovation, was produced by students of the Department of Industrial Works and Metallic Piping.

It is a versatile cooker, which uses both charcoal and solar energy to cook and bake, all at once.

“It’s different from the others because some cookers can only cook, some can only bake but this one, you can cook and bake at the same time,” said Anyam Michael, the Chief innovator.

Thanks to Anyam’s innovation, GBTHS Bamenda received FCFA 500,000 from Minister Nalova Lyonga as first prize for innovation nationwide.

The second prize went to GTC Bai Foe and GTHS Bafoussam, who received FCFA 300,000 each. Meanwhile, GTHS Garoua Nasarawa received the third prize of FCFA 200,000.

Concerning the regional prizes for the Southwest, GTC Bai Foe took the first position (FCFA 125,000); GTHS Molyko second prize (FCFA 100,000) and GBTHS Limbe third prize (FCFA 75,000).

Students of GTHS Limbe got third prize for their outstanding innovations in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Offshore Mining and Petroleum.

They produced a cross-section of chemical products, including Ginger Syrup with a six-month guarantee; Glycerine; Vaseline; and most importantly an environmentally friendly bio-diesel to power vehicles.

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