Education is highly valued in Cameroon, but often the cost of schooling is prohibitive. By helping facilitate access to quality education for all students, the Himalayan Institute Cameroon is helping families invest in their children’s futures and contributing to a wiser, more empowered future for the entire country.
School is not free in Kumbo. If parents want to send their children to elementary school and high school they have to pay each year for tuition and books, even in government-run schools. On average, the total cost for one year of school is roughly $250. Additionally, students from small rural villages must oftentimes rent room and board in Kumbo during the school year, in order to be able to attend school each day. In a country where the average annual income is only $1050 (Worldbank), it can be very challenging to put an entire family through school.
The Himalayan Institute Cameroon works hard to support families in Kumbo by providing scholarship assistance. This financial assistance goes towards books, class materials, uniforms, and tuition. To further help reduce the cost of education, we have dedicated a section of its Kumbo Public Library to house textbooks required in Kumbo schools. This collection includes over 1,000 books and is available for students to study at no cost.
Books for Schools
HI Cameroon has teamed up with other local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to help bring books to the most remote rural schools in the northwest region. HI staff members have seen firsthand how carefully these books are treated and how precious and important these small libraries are to the villagers who receive them. A collection of books, especially when earned through incentive programs that require the school parent-teacher organization and local government to match funding, creates a strong feeling of community pride and shared hope for their children.
These books not only include basic required school texts, but also “pleasure books” — children’s classics which help instill a joy in reading and learning that will hopefully serve these students and their families long into the future.
Professionals in the Classroom
Shortage of teachers is a major problem for schools in Cameroon. To help address this issue, HI Cameroon periodically sends its staff to volunteer at the local trade schools. Experienced professionals in the fields of carpentry and construction, healthcare, and various microenterprises and economics, teach classes and extracurricular programs, providing students with crucial access to real life knowledge and experience in their fields of study.