Becoming a teacher in Cameroon is one of the most sought jobs due to the high ever-increasing demand for teachers.
How to Become a Teacher in Cameroon
In modern usage, ‘teaching’ and ‘teacher’ are linked to schooling and schools. One way of looking at the question ‘What is teaching?’ is to look at what those called ‘teachers’ do and then draw out key qualities or activities that set them apart from others.
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Teaching is the transfer of knowledge from a more knowledgeable person to a less knowledgeable person
Becoming a teacher in Cameroon is one of the most sought jobs due to the high ever-increasing demand for teachers. Teaching is the least-paid profession in the country. Still, on the contrary, it is the most paid job with a monthly salary of above 200000FCFA for government teachers.
The procedure involved in becoming a teacher in Cameroon can be academic or professional.
Academic qualifications that may warrant you to teach in some schools in Cameroon include the ordinary level certificate, advanced level certificate, and bachelor’s degree in a course associated with the subject that is to be taught. These certificates must be submitted to the competent authority by the applicant, who would later be called for an interview which would assess other criteria not found on the certificates he/she submitted, including other necessary documents like the identification document and a curriculum vitae (C.V.). These criteria are necessary for the smooth teaching-learning process envisaged to be attained, hence, good results. Some of these criteria include:
l Dressing: This is the first thing that students would notice and want to copy from their teacher. For this reason, every teacher must learn the art of formal dressing. This does not mean the teacher should be extravagant, but he/she should at least be decent in dressing and neat too.
l Speech: A good teacher should have a voice that can be heard by even the students at the back of the class on the last bench. Also, the teacher must be eloquent in speech so as to keep the students who are slow learners from grasping what is being taught.
l The last thing that would be checked during an interview is the comportment of the teacher. This may not be as it would happen in front of students. That is why this test must be completed by doing a test run for the teacher during his first lesson. The relationship between the teacher and the students must be cordial and strictly professional at the same time.
l The other attributes of a good teacher would be checked during the first few lessons of the new teacher.
The professional qualifications needed to get into the teaching profession are dependent on the level the teacher would be teaching.
1. To teach in the primary section, the qualification required is called the CAPIEM, which is obtainable only after the candidate must have passed the Cameroon General Certificate of Education exam for the Advanced level, commonly called the G.C.E. A-Level. After a nine months training program, the primary school teacher is set to start imparting knowledge. This is usually in a private institution before integration into the public service after years of assiduous teaching so as to merit integration or by a competitive entrance exam.
2. To teach in the secondary section, the teacher must apply to enter a professional training school owned by the government or private individuals. This application must contain an A-level certificate as the minimum qualification before the candidate can be accepted to write the entrance exam. In the public sector, the prospective teacher must write a competitive entrance exam and pass before he/she can be trained to become a professional teacher in Cameroon. Those who do not succeed in any of these exams and who wish to be trained as private teachers who can still be integrated into public service can apply and be trained together with the official students (those who passed the competitive entrance exam) for the same qualification. The certificate obtained after training of secondary school teachers include the D.I.P.E.S. I for the grammar section or schools obtained from the Higher Teachers Training College (H.T.T.C./E.N.S.) and D.I.P.E.T. I for the technical section or schools obtained from the Higher Technical Teachers Training College (H.T.T.T.C./E.N.S.E.T). These certificates are obtained upon completion of the 3 years training program organized by the corresponding school under any state university or private institution.
Advantages of being a teacher in Cameroon
The advantages of being a teacher in Cameroon are more in the public sector than in the private sector. This is because, in the private sector, the teacher is often exploited by private individuals who care more about the profit they make than on the well-being of their employees. The advantages of a teacher in Cameroon include:
l One qualifies after the 2 years or 3 years of study in a secondary school teachers training school to teach as a classroom teacher with a maximum working hours load of 18 hours. This gives the teacher enough time to get involved with other beneficial activities like part-time in other institutions or starting a small business to supplement his/her monthly salary from the government of Cameroon.
l When exercising your teaching duty, you can meet more government officials and build relationships that may be important in the future. Also, a good portfolio will earn you recognition by the powers of the state that be, which may earn you grants and even awards for a job well done.
l Being a graduate after succeeding in any of the competitive entrance exams organized by the state to train teachers makes you automatically a civil servant after submitting all the necessary documents, hence making you entitled to a monthly salary till your day of retirement when you start receiving a retirement benefit which is one-third of your normal salary monthly. This puts you at a greater disposition to collect loans of huge sums of money, which can be used to invest in a lucrative business for greater returns.
l Being a civil servant also puts you in a better position to better plan your future, especially your retirement, so that you can be as comfortable as possible during your old age.
l The last and not the least advantage of being a teacher is the feeling of being able to teach young ones who are the future of the country and who would be glad to offer you service anywhere you meet them in the future as successful men and women in society.