Humphrey Ekema Monono: Inventive GCE Board Registrar
Humphrey Ekema Monono held Cameroon’s biggest examination body, the Cameroon General Certificate of Education board, GCE, dating right back from 2006 when he took over from the Late Dr. Omer Weyi Yembe and finally left the office for retirement in 2018 giving way for Dang Akuh Dominic.
Registrars who have headed the GCE Board till date
GCE Board has had four Registrars since inception.
- The pioneer who was Dr. Andrew Azong Wara, one of those influential individuals who fronted the struggle for the creation of the Board.
- Late Dr. Omer Weyi Yembe, who was known for his sternness, was the second. He took over from Dr. Azong Wara and led the Board for a decade.
- Humphrey Ekema Monono, the strong man who took over from the Late Dr. Omer Weyi Yembe in 2006.
- Dang Akuh Dominic, an experienced Educationist, who is the current GCE Board Registrar. He took over from Humphrey Ekema Monono in 2018.
A Prime Ministerial order of Tuesday 14 March 2006 catapulted him to that prestigious yet demanding post of responsibility. Monono’s appointment, it would be recalled, came just a little over a month after a Presidential decree had appointed Prof. Peter Alonge Abety as Chairman of the Board, in replacement of Dr. Herbert Nganjo Endeley.
Observers postulate that Monono’s appointment was well merited. They say since ascending to the helm of the Board, he has not stopped displaying his dexterity and adroitness in educational management and that his inventive mind has never stopped bearing fruits.
Biography of Humphrey Ekema Monono
In fact, before that appointment, he had had so rich a career background.
- He started work with the Department of Examinations at the Ministry of National Education in Yaoundé when Prof. Dorothy Limunga Njeuma was then Vice Minister of the said ministry.
- Thereafter, he had a supersonic leap forward: after a brief spell as a Discipline Master and Vice Principal in the Government Bilingual Grammar School in Molyko, Buea, he was shot forth to the position of Principal of Government High School, Kumba, before returning to Molyko in the same capacity.
- Monono then went back to Yaounde were held the post of Director of Secondary Education before moving on, in 2005, as an Inspector General in charge of General Education, whose job entailed overseeing the administration of schools country-wide.
Achievements of the GCE Board So far
The GCE Board, with Monono, has over the years tried to match up with the exigencies of the ever-changing world.
- In the domain of technology, the Board long saw the need to create a user-friendly website (
camgceb.org) now (camgceberoongceboard.com) to enable people to find information about its activities on the internet.
- In 2012, the Board also introduced an electronic system of registration (E-registration) for candidates as is the case with most examination Boards and institutions of learning across the world.
- Although many criticized the system, the Registrar, however, maintained that the innovation helped in reducing errors linked to the registration of candidates.
- Through the system, various examination centers forward to the Board, Compact Discs or Flash pens from which the latter copies the list of registered candidates on to a central server.
- In 2013, Monono introduced a novelty in the release of GCE results, whereby candidates got their results through text messages. This stirred controversy but the Registrar again made a good case for the Board.
- In a press conference and on different other media platforms, he stated, among other justifications, that the Board had to move with the times and that it was also committed to guaranteeing the privacy of results of candidates which was before then undermined by the publication of results in newspapers.
- A few years ago, the Board took another giant step in introducing the hitherto much-heralded Multiple Choice Questions, MCQ, the format in the GCE. Prior to that, a team of GCE Board officials had embarked on a nation-wide sensitization and opinion-gathering mission with students, parents, teachers, and examiners on the MCQs issue.
- According to the Board, initiating the system was to be on the same pedestal with global trends of evaluation in exams.
- Today, the MCQ is succeeding and not without humongous enthusiastic approval. It is also thanks to Monono that the GCE Board today has a modern structure of its own.
The over FCFA 200 million worth finely designed piece of architectural creativity stands conspicuous in Buea, the Board’s headquarters.
Secondary Education Minister, Louis Bapes Bapes, was in Buea on 28 November 2013 to inaugurate the structure in a highly colorful event that coincided with the 20th-anniversary celebration of the Board’s existence.
It is believed that because of the Registrar’s knack for the promotion of excellence, poetry is completion was launched in the prelude to the twin event.
The contest entailed writing a poem of not more than 20 lines on the topic “Education” the results of which were published there days to the celebration, with the winner bagging home a sum of FCFA 100,000.
History of the Cameroon GCE Board
The Cameroon GCE Board was born in 1993 after a fierce crusade by some front liners of the Teachers’ Association of Cameroon, TAC, at the time.
Two Anglophone writers, Francis Nyamnjoh and Richard Fonteh Akum, who has published a series of books on the struggles of the GCE crisis, opine that the establishment of the Board was the eventual fruits of fierce battles fought by the Anglophone community in Cameroon.
This was to salvage the General Certificate of Education, a symbol of their cherished colonial heritage from Britain, from attempts by agents of the Ministry of National Education to subvert it.
These battles, they hold, opposed a mobilized and determined Anglophone civil society against numerous machinations by successive Francophone-dominated governments to destroy their much prided educational system in the name of ‘national integration’.