By Fru Rita Ngum
Given the need to shift from integration to inclusion, the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Director of Health Services (DHS), Prof Tih Pius Muffih in consultation with the CBC General Council have changed the names of some of her schools. These changes that will go into effect in the 2018/19 academic year, are preceded by a 2017communique approving CBC Integrated School for the Blind in Kumbo to become CBC Inclusive School and Brail Center (ISBC) and Integrated School for the Deaf in Mbingo to become CBC Inclusive School and Sign Language Center (ISSLC).
On this premise, a one day meeting held at the Baptist Center in Bamenda recently to review the new orientation of the CBC Inclusive Schools. Chairing the meeting in his capacity as the Coordinator of Services for Persons with Disability (SPD), Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac said the world is now moving from integration to inclusion. “An organization like the CBC Health Services which started disability work as far back as the 1980s, cannot be left behind in the new shift,” stated Mr. Awa.
Given that the change of the names will have to go into effect during the 2018/2019 academic year, Mr. Awa said all hands must be put on deck to ensure that the services offered reflect the new names.
The meeting brought together the Head Teachers of CBC Primary and Nursery School Mbingo I, Mr. Ndosak Solomon, ISSLC Mbingo, Mr. Che Manasseh, and ISBC Kumbo, Mrs. Kutwah Magdalene, the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Supervisor, Mr. Kenchi Joseph, and SEEPD Communication Officer, Fru Rita, given the important roles they have to play in ensuring that the change of names goes into effect.
The three Head Teachers applauded the decision by the CBC General Council and said that the change of the names will make the schools to become resource centres where students from universities can carry out research as well as undertake internships, training of adults on sign language and braille and building the capacities of staff in sign language and braille, among other benefits.
The Head Teachers proposed an organigram for the two schools given that the CBC Mbingo 1 Primary and Nursery School will be merged with the CBC ISSLC. Concerning the legal structure of the schools, the participants resolved that both schools will be registered under the Ministry of Basic Education and Social Affairs. A fundraising strategy was also highlighted in the meeting given that many poor children may not be able to conveniently pay fees to attend the facilities.
The mission, vision and purpose of the schools will be carefully devised by the CBC administration before the new school year commences in September, 2018.
At the close of the meeting, the SPD Coordinator, Mr. Awa, said he places a lot of importance on the new shift and challenged the school officials to support the Director of the CBC Health Services in ensuring that the change is implemented with positive impacts on the beneficiaries.