The Director of the London based humanitarian organisation, Book Aid International, Alison Hubert has observed that there is the lack of local book budgets in Cameroon universities.
Alison Hubert made her observation to the press in Yaounde at the end of a one week evaluation mission to Cameroon on Tuesday April 30, 2013.
“Book Aid International increases access to books and supports literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa. We provided 543,280 new books to over 2,000 libraries last year alone and have sent more than 30 million books to partner libraries since 1954”, Alison Hubert revealed to the press in Yaounde.
Book Aid International has been working in Cameroon since 1994. Since 2009 Book Aid International’s main partner has been Education Information Services International (EISERVI), a recently established local NGO.
According to Andrew Nyenty, Executive Director of EISERVI, Book Aid International-donated books to Cameroon are distributed to local council and community libraries, primary and secondary schools, and orphanages.
During her one week stay in Cameroon, Alison Hubert who was accompanied by the Executive Director of EISERVI visited some of the libraries, schools and orphanages where EISERVI is promoting the reading culture.
Alison Hubert told reporters that the purpose of her visit was to evaluate the impact of their activities on the beneficiaries. And after the visit, she was very impressed with the impact Book Aid International is creating in Cameroon through its main partner, EISERVI, she said.
“EISERVI is doing a fabulous job” Alison Hubert remarked.
However, the Book Aid International’s Director noted that the positive impact created in the North West Region has not been as impressive that that created in the South West Region where she both visited.
One of the disheartening challenges in the Cameroonian education system is the lack of reading culture in schools. This problem is compounded by two major factors.
First, the Cameroonian system of education is dominated by exams which play a crucial role in deciding the students’ future. Second, almost all the students and teachers speak English as their second or even third language.
Book Aid International-donated books however do not always match the curriculum needs of pupils and students in Cameroon, educationists say.
But Book Aid argues that they donate books to compliment those already in Cameroonian libraries. Alison Hubert decried the lack of local book budget in university libraries in Cameroon.