The 15-year-old male student is now under police custody after he stabbed and killed his mathematics teacher. Preliminary investigations and eyewitness accounts suggest that after days of premeditating the murder, the drama unfolded this Tuesday as students watched on.
The student is said to have had a disagreement with the teacher, promising to knife the teacher this Tuesday, according to testimonies from some students in the presence of the Minister. In an attempt to call the student to order at the start of his lesson, the teacher unfortunately went physical with the unyielding student who pulled out a knife hidden under his uniform and stabbed the 26-year-old teacher who later died at the Yaounde University Teaching Hospital (CHU). The student is said not to be a first time offender, reportedly dismissed from previous schools.
Below is a declaration of the Minister of Secondary Education, Prof. Nalova Lyonga at the scene of the incident shortly after a crisis meeting. Excerpts:-
“The problem is still being investigated because some people had alleged that he was killed with a compass. Others had said the student had a knife because he had been planning to do this act since last week, it would appear. So, it is not up to us to say. We cannot tell. But we know that an investigation is going on. The teacher cannot die for nothing. We must know why he died, from what and what happened.
“We have a problem everywhere. We have a problem in the schools, we have a problem in the society. This student came with a knife. Where was the knife coming from? The knife was not in school. He certainly came with the knife from home. So, we have a problem. When the schools discipline children, the parents come and scold the teachers. So, we have a problem.
“Instead of finding out why the child has a problem, they scold the teachers to the extent that the teachers begin to think that they are victims. The teachers are not victims. The teachers are trying to discipline the children. What I have told the teachers is that they themselves have to make a distinction between a disciplinary case and a case which is criminal. They should be able to report to the special police that have been put at the disposal of the schools so that they can do their work. The law has to take its course.
“The problem is why they would not discover that it was the child who had the problem because the problem had been going on for two weeks and nobody noticed that there was a problem between the killer and the teacher. The teacher had been here only for two months and the teacher felt such a victim to the extent where he had to take on a fight with the student. Why should the teacher fight with a student? If a teacher has a problem, that problem should be discussed among the teachers so that all of them can tackle the problem. The teacher should not be left alone to the extent where he is shouting at the student and the student is shouting back.
“Nobody knows. That is what I tell them. The anomaly is that no teacher knows that they have seven disciplinary teachers. Everybody is trying to say that this was a good teacher. Whereas the students come and say that just looking at the eyes of the student and looking at his height, the other students are afraid of this student. How can the students be afraid of a student and the teachers themselves do not know that there was a problem.
“There is an anomaly somewhere and we have to do something. Teachers have to be able to distinguish the problems. Those that they can handle at their own level and those that the police can handle. Because the students of today are the types of students who have problems. Who come in and try to tell the teachers that they know everything more than the teachers. It cannot be like that. We could not be educated for nothing. Just to come and die like dogs. And the children too cannot just die like that. All of us have a problem; the general society has a problem.
“I had to leave Pouma. I was going to Douala and I had to come back as soon as I got this news because it is a serious problem. It is a very serious problem. I told the teachers that I have come in order for us to talk about the problems. Don’t think that I have come to accuse you. But I am asking you. If you tell me that you have a problem of a fence, I am going to ask you that since you have been receiving your money, tell me how much money you have put in for fixing the fence. Tell me how you have tackled the problems that you have. Don’t always ask for the government to do that and don’t always cry the cry of the victim. You are not always the victim. You must look at how to tackle the problems.”