Teacher’s syndicates in Cameroon have been hard hit with the news of the passing away of Mr. Hamidou, a secondary school teacher at the Government Bilingual High School, Beka, in the Far North Region of Cameroon.
Mr. Hamidou had trended on social media platforms in Cameroon, after he wrote a protesting placard in the context of the OTS (on a trop supporté) Protest, suggesting he had not been paid for 10 years.
On Tuesday March 08, 2022, news broke out that Mr. Hamidou had passed away. Sources familiar with the matter say he was unable to afford proper medication after a very brief illness.
The news caused a stir across the country amongst teachers, and a statement was released in this regard.
A defiant outing from the protesting teachers says, “Mr. Hamidou’s death will serve as a turning point in this fight to reclaim our dignity…”
The statement also blamed the government and insinuated that it, “…took pleasure in seeing teachers suffer, and let them die. Mr. Hamidou is a perfect illustration of this.”
In unison, the statement solicited for teachers across the national territory to observe today Wednesday 9th March 2022, in memory of Mr. Hamidou who couldn’t live to see a breakthrough in his fight against discrimination.
The statement also revealed that more mobilization will be carried out in the coming days to make their voices heard.
For the past two weeks, the OTS movement has quickly gained steam in Cameroon. The term OTS (On a Trop Supporté) was coined by teachers as a common slogan to guide them in their strike.
This strike action which began in the Far North Region of Cameroon sought to address the horrible work conditions of teachers in Cameroon.
The movement has since gathered steam and spread to other regions of Cameroon. Teachers in the past weeks have absconded from classrooms and also vowed not to return to classrooms unless their demands are met by the state.
Other teachers like Mr. Hamidou have worked for years with neither pay nor integration into the system by the state.
In the Littoral Region, students have joined their teachers in this movement, with several Institutions taking to the streets to voice out their discontent against the treatment of their teachers.
Though the state has reportedly ordered for the disbursement of 2.7 billion FCFA to address these concerns, the teachers have remained defiant and maintained that their strike action will not be called off until all their demands are met.