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Cabinet Discusses Conduct Of 2014 Certificate Exams

Below is the press release following the cabinet meeting of June 26, 2014 chaired by Prime Minister Philemon Yang.

“The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr Philemon YANG,  Thursday 26 June 2014 as from 10:00 a.m. in the main building of his Office, chaired a Cabinet Meeting, attended by the Vice-Prime Minister, Ministers of State, Ministers, Ministers-Delegate and Secretaries of State.

Two items featured on the agenda:

1)      The report on the conduct of the 2014 session of official examinations presented by the Minister for Secondary Education and the Secretary of State for Basic Education;

2)      A presentation of the National Public Debt Committee (NPDC) and guidelines on the national public debt policy by the Minister-Delegate at the Ministry of Finance.

The Cabinet Meeting first listened to two reports related to the organization of the 2014 session of official examinations. In secondary education, after a hitch-free school year in which about 90% of the school syllabus was covered, 992,041 candidates sat for certificate and other examinations in the two sub-systems across 2,500 accommodation centres.

For examinations organized by the Department of Examinations and Certification, 492,653 candidates registered against 521,144 in 2013. The GCE Board had 164,789 candidates against 154,913 in 2013 while the Office du Baccalaureat had 334,599 candidates against 320,870 in 2013.

The written part of exams is over for 25 of the 27 examinations scheduled. New assessment methods were introduced. For example, orals have been eliminated and compulsory practicals instituted for all candidates of vocational industrial examinations. A bilingual option has also been introduced for the GCE Certificate. Marking is ongoing and results will be published by 31 July 2014.

The Minister for Secondary Education stressed that rumours alleging that some examination questions were leaked in violation of the confidentiality requirement or that some candidates’ code numbers were disclosed were utterly unfounded.

In basic education, 441,888 pupils registered as internal and external candidates in 360 centres and 2,721 sub-centres against 430,908 in 2013The distribution is as follows: 79,325 candidates for the Common Entrance Examination;268,692 candidates for the Certificat d’études primaires (CEP); and 93,871 for the First School Leaving Certificate.

The sessions organized on 15 May 2014 and 10 and 11 June 2014 respectively were conducted satisfactorily. The publication of results has begun with the Common Entrance and will continue in the days ahead with the Certificat d’études primaires and the First School Leaving Certificate.

In terms of prospects, the Secretary of State for Basic Education indicated that the reform of the CEP and First School Leaving Certificate will become effective as from next school year. The aim is to reduce the number of subjects without affecting the pedagogic content in order to preserve assessment quality as well as the number of marking and deliberation centres which will be in divisional headquarters.

After noting these reports, the Head of Government instructed that the calendar for marking and publication of results should be respected.

Proceedings continued with the statement of the Minister-Delegate in the Ministry of Finance who presented the National Public Debt Committee (NPDC) and guidelines of the national public debt policy. He revealed that after benefiting from debt relief at the start of the 2000 decade, Cameroon’s debt level became moderate.

On 31 May 2014, Cameroon’s outstanding public debt is estimated at over CFAF 2,700 billion which represents 20% of GDP but remains below the CEMAC sub-regional convergence criteria of 70%. The committed undisbursed balance stands at CFAF 2,000 billion. Our debt prospects by 2017stand at about CFAF 5,000 billion, corresponding to roughly35% of GDP.

These financial contributions are channelled mainly towards productive investments and the construction of overarching infrastructure. Such productive indebtedness generates capacity to pay back in future.

The Minister-Delegate indicated that the National Public Debt Committee was set up by Decree of 4 August 2008 to further rationalize recourse to this method of financing. Its missions are to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the national public debt policy, ensuring that it remains consistent with the development objectives and financial capacity of the State.

The National Public Debt Committee is an advisory body. It gives a reasoned opinion on funding requests or offers that concern that State or its field agencies as well as on external public borrowings and requests for sovereign guarantees and retrocession addressed to the State.

At its first deliberations, the Committee had laid the foundations for a cautious debt policy which gave preference to harnessing national savings and to resorting to concessional loans for social projects and non concessional loans for projects with high economic returns.

After the ensuing discussions, centred mainly on the structure and level of debt servicing, the quality of debt-funded projects and efforts made to settle our internal debt, the Prime Minister asked the Minister for Finance and the Minister for the Economy, Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the National Public Debt Committee, to continue working to maintain and raise the signature and quality of Cameroon’s sovereign rating.

The Cabinet Meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.”

                                               Yaounde, 26 June 2014

 Louis Paul MOTAZE,

Secretary-General of the

Prime Minister’s Office

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