The validation of academic activities in all the three facets of university life in which scholars engage themselves in some universities within the Commonwealth finds outlet in this volume. This is a continuation of the pact signed at the Commonwealth Summer School in Buea, Cameroon in 2011 when this journal was created and launched by the Minister of Higher Education. This peer-reviewed journal is interested in original scientific work within the Commonwealth. This volume is testimony to this fact as it contains contributions not only from scholars in Cameroon, but also from those elsewhere within the Commonwealth, notably, Nigeria. Another specificity of this volume is its reflection of the spirit of the Commonwealth wherein, English can cohabit with other languages like French. The acceptance of Rwanda within the Commonwealth may thus parallel the inclusion of articles in French (2) in this number and subsequent ones.
In her paper entitled Film, Télévision et Hétérogénéité Culturelle en Contexte Postcolonial Africain ‘Film, Television and Cultural Heterogeneity in Postcolonial Africa’, Angoua contends that the current tendency in Africa, particularly in Cameroon to imitate western stardom exposes Africans to film productions from the west where educative projects are at variance with the culture of the consumers of these products thus bringing about germs of underdevelopment. She holds that western films screened on local media have led to a noticeable transformation of behaviour leading to the destruction of African culture. She questions whether it is not more judicious for a society to orientate their production towards their endogenous sociocultural heritage. Using Mole’s theory of culture and the dynamic and critical approach, she explores the degrading sociocultural values relating to education and concludes that a critical analysis of the film and television enterprise in Cameroon and postcolonial Africa presents a double facetted globalisation.
In another paper written in Moliere’s language, Oumarou discusses L’Inclusion Scolaire des Enfants Nomades dans le Logone et Chari (Extrême-Nord du Cameroun) ‘The Educational Inclusion of Nomad Children in the Logone and Chari Division of the Far North Region of Cameroon’. The paper examines the strategies that the educational policy in Cameroon has adopted since 1960, for the education of nomad children in the Logone and Chari Division of the Far North Region of Cameroon. The researcher reveals that as soon as Cameroon became independent, Government put in place in 1960 the ‘Nomad School’ and the ‘Road Junction School’ for nomad children. He states that Government is currently using positive discrimination in order to foster an educational policy of inclusion for nomad children. This, to the researcher, is a positive education action that leads to human resource development. This paper is parallel to Ngwu et al (CJSC Vol. 1 No 2).
The other six articles included in this number are in English. They treat various themes ranging from conflict resolution through literary education and environment; exoglosia and linguistic ecology; language policy and administrative decentralisation; education for democratic citizenship; to the reporting of violent insurgences like the Boko Haram Insurgence in Nigeria.
Two papers tackle the literary perspectives of Literature and environment and Literature and education. In the former, Moba posits that modern African poetry is a people-oriented literature in which environmental conservation and preservation is the sine quo non for our very survival and that, this preoccupation has of recent emerged as one of the permanent issues in contemporary African Literature. He uses Osundare (poet) who is of the opinion that there is an inseparable relationship between man and his environment in which case, man’s quest should not be to suppress the wilderness but to strive to tame and live in harmony with that wild. In the latter paper, Toh underscores the necessity to celebrate the link between black people of the western hemisphere with those in the continent using literature from diasporic space. He further posits that although African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans for the most part refuse being Africans, there is a connectivity between the mother continent and its diasporic descendants that seems to challenge the passage of time and space. To him therefore, discourse from the western hemisphere, written by descendants of slave and migrants needs to be read and taught by Africans in the continent not from an ‘exotic gaze’ but as works that can help the post independent African define ‘self’.
Concerning conflict resolution, Talla examines the role raffia palm wine played in settling land disputes, one of the many disputes that plagued societies in the Tikar country of Mbum, Donga Mantung Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. His paper seeks to ascertain the extent to which this conflict resolution mechanism was effective in the land as well as the effectiveness of the other institutions implemented by the colonial masters and the subsequent governments relative to land disputes.
In relation to language, Metuge discusses the impact of exoglosia on African languages drawing from Akosse. He establishes that in spite of the benefits of English/French bilingualism in Cameroon, the gradual decline in the use of the Mother Tongue especially among the younger generation of Africans is a cause for concern. According to Metuge, contrary to the upheld universal principle to give instruction in a child’s mother tongue (UNESCO, 1953), the complex multilingual and multiethnic nature of emerging African nations made such a decision untenable at the dawn of independence in the 1960s. This consequently shaped the language policy that we have today in Cameroon. As far as language policy is concerned, Ubanako believes that this has to be informed by current governance. He argues that the new form of decentralised governance in Cameroon with power transferred to local council governments, the policy of Official Bilingualism is outdated. To him, considering the fact that official language bilingualism has remained too centralised for many decades, many observers expected that the situation of official bilingualism which is guarantor of social cohesion and national integration would be addressed clearly in the new decentralisation law.
Chiatoh in his paper believes that the learning made available to citizens in postcolonial Africa where education is still fashioned predominantly along colonial policy lines is inadequate. He sees the curriculum content, the language of instruction and the pedagogic techniques and methods used in this context as not reflecting local reality. Consequently, he questions the values that Cameroon education promotes in their educational system.
Reporting Violent Insurgences in Postcolonial Nigeria: An Analysis of Audience Assessment of Nigerian Broadcast Media Reportage of Boko Haram Insurgence is the paper that closes this volume. In it, Okoro and Chukwuma state that the Boko Haram terrorism is one of the most violent that Nigeria has experienced since independence. The authors believe that in order to find a lasting solution to this abysmal problem, the media have an expedient role to play and this demands a great deal of caution in their reportage of the insurgency. It is in this perspective that they investigated the role of the media and found out among other things, that the broadcast media have been biased in their reportage of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
This is therefore a rich number containing nine thoroughly researched papers that deal with various aspects of scientific research within the spirit of the Commonwealth.