By Hope Nda
The 2022 written session of the General Certificate of Education, GCE, has started in all 10 regions of Cameroon with more than 180,000 secondary school students battling for success.
Some 182,256 candidates kick started the exams on Tuesday, June 28, with Economics Paper 1 for both Ordinary and Advance Levels and Geology Paper 1 for A/Level Geology students.
They started the exams at 8am and, one hour thirty minutes later, candidates were done writing these opening papers. To students like Anne Esambe, the exam was an easy ride. She is among the six Ordinary Level candidates of Our Lady of Mount Carmel College, Muea-Buea, who are facing the exams this year after their school was closed down for some years due to the ongoing Anglophone Crisis.
“I feel like I was very prepared for it and that I’ve written very well and I hope that paper 2 will be as easy as paper 1 was,” she said after writing Economics Paper 1 on Tuesday.
Essambe furthered: “Even though we have been in a difficult area, we still had very supportive teachers and altogether as sisters we’ve been preparing very well. We’ve been helping each other answering past questions. I can say all of us are very prepared for this exam.”
Though the GCE opening paper seemed tough to Brinice Mutanga Sen, the O/Level candidate from GBHS Muea-Buea, nevertheless, resolved to push through the exams with determination.
“It has been a very difficult exam, but I gave it my all, because even though I wrote last year and I knew that it was difficult for me; I failed because of my operation… I came this year to write and make my parents proud,” said Brinice Mutanga.
In Buea, headquarters of the Southwest Region, education remains threatened by anti-school campaigners. For security reasons, GCE candidates from several schools have been grouped under larger examination centres where their security could be guaranteed.
At Bilingual Grammar School Molyko, which hosts GCE candidates from at least four other schools in Buea, close to 1,500 students sat for the exams’ opening session on Tuesday, according to the school’s Principal, Cecilia Limunga Lyonga.
“This centre is harbouring many other centres. We have Bomaka writing in this school; we have GBHS Muea writing here; we have GHS Bolifamba-Mile 16 writing also here; so it’s quite a huge centre,” she said.
Commenting on the GCE kick off session, she said, “It was a good take-off. For O/level Economics we had 973 candidates and 13 of them were absent… For A/level economics, we had 480 and 12 were absent. So present were 468. A/level Geology we had 37 and out of the 37 one was absent”.
BGS Molyko, also, was one of the destinations of Southwest Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai, and his entourage, as they went out on Tuesday to evaluate the GCE exams session.
After visiting examination centres at GTHS and BGS Molyko-Buea, respectively, the Governor remarked that the exams started well across the Region. He also hailed school authorities for the measures they have taken so far to guarantee a hitch-free exam kick-off amid security challenges, and called on them to uphold these measures until July 14, when the exams end.
This year’s GCE exams registered 11,774 more students, making a 6.4 percent increase in enrolment. Over 41,000 students registered for the exams in the Southwest Region and are writing in 87 examination centres across the region.