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Why professional/vocational schools in Cameroon are failing in their role.

The terms professional and vocational schools have been grossly violated in Cameroon. The concept of professionalism in education is facing a serious problem of implementation in Africa, Cameroon inclusive. 

Stakeholders in professional or vacation education have made believe to parents that professional schools are a short cut to the job market and entrepreneurship but in reality, parents are now frustrated as their children still roam the streets not because they are no jobs per se but also because the children themselves do not possess the needed skills to get even the limited available jobs or oriented to create solutions for themselves. 

Why are our professional or vocational schools not solving their problems of existence? To answer this question, you will need to know the main institutional essence of vocational schools in the world. 

In Japan, vocational schools are known as senmon. They are a part of Japan's higher education system. There are two-year schools that many students study after finishing high school. 

Some have a wide range of majors, others only a few majors. Some examples are computer technology, fashion, and English. In Japan, therefore, vocational or professional schools are very important for employers.

In Central and Eastern Europe, vocational education is divided into three categories

        1. (Professional) vocational-technical schools abbreviated as PTU: They are usually a preparatory 

            vocational education providing a lower level of vocational education (apprenticeship).

        2. Technicum: Technical college (technicum) provides a middle level of vocational education

        3. Institute: Institutes are considered a higher level of education; however, unlike universities, they are more 

            oriented to a particular trade.

In India, vocational schools are mainly run by the government under the guidance of the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship. 

Courses offered by the Government of India are Udaan, Polytechnics, Parvaaz, National Rural Livelihood Mission, Industrial Training Institutes, Aajeevika mission of national rural livelihood, Craftsmen Training Scheme.

In Cameroon, professional or vocational training is governed by Law No 2018 - 010 of 11 July 2018. The law states clearly the meaning, modalities, and requirements to run a vocational school in Cameroon. Unfortunately, only a few stakeholders respect the roles. 

Check out this extract from the vocational training law in Cameroon

Judging from the screenshot above, SECTION 17: (1) of the law on vocational training stipulates that, initial vocational training shall be aimed at imparting the skillsknowledge, and know-how essential for carrying out a professional activity

From the legal provision above one can clearly see that the ministry emphasizes on “imparting skills” which comes first and even the knowledge mentioned in the provision is not academic knowledge but “knowledge with know-how”

Why is Seven Advanced Academy different from other professional schools in Cameroon 

Many parents, companies, and students have confessed that Seven Advanced Academy is totally different from other professional or vocational schools in Cameroon. The reason is simple. 

It is because the institution is created with core values to respect the very essence of operating a vocational/professional school. 

Thus, it has taken all measures to respect the law and provisions put in place by the government which fortunately are very good and clear. 

Other professional/vocational schools consider the law by the state as just a mere document on paper and neglect the full implementation either because they just want to operate a business and make money or they lack the will and resources to operate a real vocational/professional school. 

Check this out; App development in Cameroon

At seven Academy, therefore, in order to fully implement SECTION 17: (1) of the law governing vocational training in Cameroon, the founders took into consideration to solve the following problems others face.

The training curriculum

Haven chose to operate in the domain of training software engineers, the founders first contacted the tech giants in Cameroon to enquire about the various skills they (the companies) will need from a graduate in software development. 

These companies like MTN, Orange, CAMTEL, ENEO did not hesitate to state their recruitment requirements in IT.

Then the founders of the Academy fashioned the curriculum to include all the needed software skills an average company with an IT department in Cameroon will need from a graduate to realize a project. 

This was imperative to ensure that the curriculum is nationally accepted by the job market.  

Check this out: Web development in Cameroon


Then to ensure that the curriculum was international accepted, the CEO of Seven Academy Mrs. Estelle Yomba who happens to be the Sr. Technical Program Manager at Google, had worked with eBay, understands the level of skills needed based on standard training rules from industry leaders notably Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and institutions like Stanford and MIT. 

Thus, our curriculum is highly competitive, always updated and practical intensive. You can bear with me that this is difficult to find anywhere in Cameroon. 

The learning environment

Your environment needs to be digital to train people practically in digital technology. 

Students at Seven Academy Lily company lab

The founders of Seven Academy did not just come to Cameroon rent some big halls, get authorization from the government, do aggressive publicity and start making money in the name of training students practically for the job market. IT training needs to be done in computer labs, not in the classroom. 

That is why our training center is top-notch. First, it is located in the heart of the economic capital Douala, Bali out of the Busy business district Akwa. 

Our training takes place in two well-equipped laboratories with a capacity of 30 persons in a lab, furnished with 100 iMac computers, 23 inches each with decent computing power accompanied by training projectors and other gadgets.

To register for any of our programs click here

Our staff

Seven Academy as an IT training institution functions in three major departments. 

1. The engineering department: this is the department in charge of training, made up of young, energetic, intelligent and ambitious Cameroonian software engineers who have competed and defeated their peers in international IT challenges, had flown to Europe, USA and China for greener pastures but were pullback home by the CEO to come and train the young ones. 

2. The Administration and finance department: this department is made up of seasoned managers, administrators, and accountants with over 15 years of experience making sure that affairs of the institution are transparent,  modern and free from any bureaucratic circumlocution  

3. The Communication and marketing department: this department is made up of popular professionals in corporate communications, digital marketing, blogging, and PR. They make sure that the students are not only trained on how to build products but are drilled on how they should be able to brand themselves, their products, marketing them successfully in a competitive market place.

With the three aforementioned value propositions offered by Seven Academy, the institution has been able to position itself since 2018 as the lone First-Class IT Training Institute in Cameroon.  

By and large, the vision and mission of Seven Academy is on track as all its final year students who were supposed to be doing internships have instead been fully recruited by various companies in Douala and Yaounde. 

This is a practical testimony that has warranted the ministry of Employment and Vocational Training to be proud of our model of training in IT. 

To register for any of our programs click here

By George Munang