By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo
Weeks into the 2021/2022 Academic Year in Cameroon, parents have been urged not to pay increased Parent Teacher Association fees commonly known as PTA levy.
The call was made by the Cameroon Renaissance Movement, CRM party, during a press conference held on September 16 in Yaounde.
Jean Bonheur Tchouafa, Deputy National Secretary in charge of Basic and Secondary Education, Civic Education and Public Hygiene in the party, chaired the press conference alongside the party’s Secretary General, Chief Barrister Christopher Ndong.
In his preliminary statement, Bonheur Tchouafa indicated that parents must insist that they are not required to contribute to this association.
“…the CRM invites parents to boycott any increase in PTA fees and insists that they are not required to contribute to this association,” he said.
“PTA fees are, in fact, voluntary and can, in no way, take the place of a sine-qua-non requirement for the admission of a pupil into a classroom. Only tuition fees, said to be payable by law, are compulsory. We invite them to mobilise with determination against this scam that grows year after year by their silence, reiterated.”
The CRM also called on the Government to put an end to the “illegal fundraising” which, in reality, masks the exploitation of poor citizens in order to avoid a State of insolvency it would face.
Speaking earlier, Bonheur Tchouafa pointed out that since the beginning of the academic year, the CRM party has observed an explosive increase all over the national territory of the so-called PTA levies due to maneuvers, on the one hand, of the Regional Delegates of the Ministries of Education, and on the other, of school authorities who now behave as promoters of private education.
He also stated that the CRM party is embarrassed that the PTA fee varied from one school to another and that it has been made compulsory for all parents to be involved which, the party says, is not correct. According to them, the Liberty Law of Association gives right to individuals to freely opt and belong to the PTA. The level must be voluntary and not compulsory.
“Government should organise the sector and make sure the purpose for which it is intended for is used. When you start collecting money from the public, it becomes public fund and the public needs to see how it is used,” the SG said.
“Many observations have shown that the PTA is most often held without discretion by school officials who have made it a treasure hunt. What was supposed to be a defence for the moral and material interests of parents of students is today a veritable mafia,” he added.
Citing decrees from the Ministries of Secondary Education regarding the stabilisation and collection of fees as well as how the PTA money should be used, the party of Prof. Maurice Kamto said the current trend is a violation of the law and regulations.