DECENTRALIZATION AND THE FINANCING OF ACCESS TO SECONDARY EDUCATION IN CAMEROON: COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS COUNTS?

Prosper Mbelle Mekolle

Abstract


Communities play a key role in educational development in many countries. In Cameroon, a number of legislations transfer certain educational responsibilities from the central government to local communities in line with the decentralized form of the state. Using the 2015/2016 academic year as the basis for assessment, this study examined the extent to which communities are responsive to the educational tasks assigned to them, and whether their contributions counts with regard to access to secondary education. Focus was on a sample of 65 randomly selected secondary schools in Fako Division of the South West Region of Cameroon. Principals from the schools responded to a questionnaire – the main instrument for data collection. Interviews were also held with parents, community leaders, councils and other stakeholders to complement questionnaire responses. Research data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and finding presented in the form of frequencies and proportions. Multinomial Logistic Regression Model was used to appraise the predictive power of community contributions on access to secondary education. The findings showed that community financing was little to inexistent and did not account for the relatively good access to secondary education reported. A major recommendation was for the government to effectively implement the process of decentralization by adequately empowering communities and other stakeholders at the decentralized level with finances and other resources needed to enhance the volume and quality of their participation in the achievement of state’s development concerns.

 

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decentralization, financing, access, secondary education and community contributions

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