INTERNET : A luxury for Cameroonian students
In a world where learning is done online, Cameroonians are still struggling to connect properly to the web. Investigation in Yaoundé…
A real sea snake for students and web enthusiasts. In cybercafés, the main spaces for students, this message usually appears: “Address not found” or the one for this user who has tried to access to Yahoo: “Firefox cannot find the server at: fr.yahoo.com”. At the University of Yaoundé I, the secretariats and cybernetic spaces are strewn along the streets. But the connection does not seem to be performing up to expectations as is claimed by the holders of the spaces. If this inconvenience is not decried by the Internet users who invest the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.; the students enrolled in Computer Science courses in Yaounde I, at the Ecole Polytechnique and other Institutes are biting their fingers. “The cyber is not worth going to, the connection is so disruptive,” says Max. Mobile operators sell Internet keys. Again, this is not a great satisfaction for customers. “Camtel sells the right keys. The problem is that their keys are too expensive.
Their Internet packages are not affordable for all students”, said Madi student at Polytech. « We have to work late at night to hope to have a fairly good Internet connection », he continues.
The only recourse for students who want to work under decent conditions remains in the “Campus Numeriques Francophone” (CNF) of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). With rooms for students, researchers and workers, the CNF of the University of Yaoundé I located in the heart of the city is much in demand. “In 2012, the AUF received 10,131 applications; 1,062 new learners, beneficiaries or benefiting from a reduced rate, have been regularly enrolled in higher education institutions that are members of the Agency”, said Bernard Cerquiglini, Rector of the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie. A survey carried out in 2010 on third-year learners shows that: more than one third of the respondents have a graduate or post-graduate degree (Master: 27%, AED: 5%, PhD: 4%) and have low or medium professional experience (48% of them have less than 5 years experience; 78% Have less than 10 years of experience). Through these Open and Distance Learning (FOAD) (link: auf.org/formation-distance) as it is called, students admitted to AUF’s partner universities can obtain their bachelor’s degree, support master’s dissertations and Theses.
Individuals can pursue their academic training through digital technologies. “I studied law at the University of Douala. But I enrolled for a Master in Environment and Sustainable Development, I want to diversify my fields of study”, says Moise Mbimbé. Like him, there are many, these people, who have, thanks to the FOAD, obtained diplomas issued by partner universities and who work in various sectors of activity. However, the cost of this training seems to be unaffordable for a number of willing people. “I would like to take training there (at the AUF, Editor’s note) but the cost is very high. I know a friend who paid a training to more than 500 000 FCFA. I can not afford this cost for now”, worries Bosco, student at the University of Yaounde I.
With more than 80 courses offered, students have the choice in six main areas: Education and Training, Human Sciences, Medicine and Public Health, Engineering Sciences, Law, Economics and Management; Environment and Sustainable Development. According to the rector of the AUF, Open and Distance Learning (FOAD) has, for 20 years, been one of the tools contributing to the construction of emerging companies proposed by the Agence universitaire de la francophonie (AUF). FOAD allows students and employed persons receiving continuing training to train while staying in their country.
Prosper Louabalbé (lien : actuprosper.wordpress.com)