Changes in Cameroon's EFA Schools
In Cameroon, the Ecoles Familiales Agricoles (EFA) are generally located in densely populated areas where lack of education is very high. Young people wander around the villages at an early age, and few go to school.
When I started working as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for the EFA program, I thought I was on virgin and fertile ground. With a lot of passion, I launched myself! An evaluation conducted with local stakeholders revealed that:
- The EFA buildings were unattractive and often in poor condition.
- Students traveled more than ten kilometers to and from school each day and many dropped out;
- Trainers had difficulty keeping up with learners who live in remote villages because of lack of transportation;
- In the same classroom, there were young and old, literate and those who could not read or write, which made training difficult;
- The trainers were initially volunteers who wanted to give education to their brothers but sometimes had the same level of schooling as the learners and were not available enough because they also had to take care of their agropastoral activities to survive;
The local association that ran the school was made up of very willing people but could neither supervise the trainers nor manage the limited financial means available. This discovery allowed to mobilize all the major actors of the EFA and today :
- Schools are built or renovated and are more attractive ;
- Boarding schools and hostels are available and canteens in some schools
- The trainers receive salaries, are well trained and give much better results
- The management of the schools is collegial or ensured by the dioceses which are better structured;
- Students who are far from EFA do not always go to their families for the internship, but more often to companies where they are better accompanied.
This in-depth work has made it possible to have attractive AETs today, where it is good to learn! Hope is gradually being reborn in the villages, the end-of-training ceremonies are great celebrations and the young people, thanks to their activities, are more and more happy with their families.
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