By Christopher Ambe
The Director of the Southwest Regional Linguistic Centre Buea, Mr.Akombi Sampson Oke, has used the 2012 Bilingual Training Certificate Award ceremony to appeal to hierarchy to construct a multi-media Centre in the institution as soon as possible.
The ceremony, which was chaired by Professor Chief Peter Agbor Tabi, Assistant Secretary-General at the Presidency of Cameroon, saw the forty-two learners receive their end-of -course bilingual certificates. The awardees included senior civil servants such as Kouemo Simon (SDO for Kupe Muanenguba) and Justice Goodwill Okia Mukete(Deputy Secretary-General at the National Assembly,Yaounde).
The Southwest Regional Linguistic Centre is one of the networks of centres of the Bilingual Training Programme, placed under the Presidency of the Republic. The centre’s missions, amongst others, include the teaching and promotion of the two official languages in Cameroon French and English, thereby contributing to national unity and integration. The Buea Linguistic centre has an annex in Limbe.
Speaking at the ceremony, Director Akombi Oke expressed happiness to have the end-of-course certificates handed to the 42 deserving products of the institution by Professor, Chief Peter Agbor Tabi,Minister,Assistant Secretary General No.1 at the Presidency.Mr.Akombi noted that in the previous graduation there were only 15 who earned the bilingual certificates compared to 42 this year. The Director, who stressed the importance of bilingualism, said the centre has graduated hundreds of people from many institutions. He urged the 42 awardees to be marketing agents of the centre, by demonstrating that, the certificates they earned were not mere pieces of paper. “Bilingualism is on the move in the Southwest Region, “remarked Director Akombi. “Our Credo is Professionalism in the promotion of Bilingualism”
Mr.Akombi pleaded with hierarchy to construct an ultra –modern multi-media centre at the Buea Linguistic Centre so to facilitate teaching and learning-a plea which the Presidential deputy SGl later said would be taken in to consideration.
“The Southwest Regional Linguistic Centre will get the kind of equipment its deserves,” said Professor Chief Agbor Tabi as he addressed the ceremony ,which was witnessed amongst other dignitaries by Southwest Governor Bernard Okakia Bilai,Fako SDO Bona Ebengue Francois, Buea Divisional Officer Chekem Abraham and Professor Gottlieb Monekosso,former Minister of Public Health.
Minister Agbor Tabi, in emphasizing the importance of bilingualism, advised the large audience: “If you want a big appointment in the country, please be bilingual.”
He charged the Southwest governor to ensure that government workers within his jurisdiction take advantage of the bilingual training programme.He said the state was bent on making the country a veritable cradle of bilingualism, adding that bilingualism is a treasure which should be preserved by all Cameroonians.
The Presidential envoy announced the imminent creation of Maroua Linguistic Centre to add to the list of existing ones.
While hailing the 42 recipients of the bilingual certificates, Professor, Chief Agbor Tabi called on the Southwest populations to emulate them. He equally urged companies and corporation to get their personnel to take advantage of the bilingual centers.
Ealier in his welcome address, Mayor of Buea Charles Mbella Moki recalled that the seeds of bilingualism in Cameroon were sown in Buea, which is also seat of reunification. He thanked the Head of State for the linguistic centre in Buea, but wished to see it improved upon before President Biya’s coming to Buea to chair the golden jubilee of Cameroon’s reunification.
Highlights of the ceremony included an academic discourse on “Reunification of Cameroon and Bilingualsm”by Sadjo Amoa; testimonies by products of the Buea center and a sketch on bilingualism.
It is worthy of note that,the Southwest Regional Linguistic Centre, Buea, as it is known toady was created in 1963 as a Federal Government structure to teach West Cameroonian Government officials, French language.
In 1990, Presidential decree no.90/196 of 3rd August 1990 created the Bilingual Training Programme.This decree also made provision for the opening of a linguistic centre at each Regional headquarters. The Buea Linguistic Centre was therefore absorbed into the Bilingual Training Programme in 1991 with Mr. Patrice Ngantu as its first Director. In 1995 Mr.Ngantu was replaced by Mrs.Bilong Regina Nalova .
in 1996,an annex of the centre was created in Limbe.In 1996,Mrs.Bilong was replaced by Mr.Akombi Sampson Oke, who is the current director.