The Cameroon GCE Board, fully known as The Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board is the organization board of secondary school exams in the anglophone subsection of education in Cameroon.
General Certificate of Education
The General Certificate of Education (GCE) is a subject-specific family of academic qualifications that awarding bodies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Crown dependencies and a few Commonwealth countries, notably Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Malaysia and Singapore, confer on students. (The Scottish education system is different from those in the other countries of the United Kingdom).
The GCE is composed of three levels; they are, in increasing order of difficulty:
- the Ordinary Level (“O Level”);
- the Advanced Subsidiary Level (“A1 Level” or “AS Level”), higher than the O Level, serving as a level in its own right, and functioning as a precursor to the full Advanced Level; and
- Advanced Level (“A Level”).
In Cameroon, the GCE Ordinary Level examination is a 3-year course program starting from Form 3 to Form 5 (Years 9 to 11). It is usually written in Form 5 (Year 11) in Secondary schools, meanwhile the GCE Advanced Level examinations are written in Upper 6 (Year 13) in High school.
Most Secondary schools in Cameroon which do the English form of education and write both the GCE A-Level and O-Level examinations were boarding schools but since then many day schools were opened which offered a complete GCE course and anyone wishing to have an English education are no more obliged to go for boarding schools.
The GCE saw changes in syllabus content at the ordinary and advanced levels in some science subjects in order to adapt to the world’s advancing school program.
During Easter break around March, students in these boarding schools stay for GCE courses for a week and a few days in school for extra classes in order to cover up their syllabus. At the end of the school year, all students in other classes except the GCE candidates leave and they stay for their Revisions and preparation towards the upcoming exams in Late-May.
Once the candidates finish writing in early June, they all return to their various homes, waiting to hear their results. The same thing applies for GCE candidates in day schools. The results for the GCE O-Level and A-level exams in Cameroon are announced around mid-July.
Cameroon GCE Board
The Cameroon General Certificate of Education Board known as Cameroon GCE Board, is the public examination board responsible for setting examinations, marking them, and distributing results for Anglo-SaxonCameroonian secondary school students at two stages;
Stage 1: The GCE Ordinary Level (“O Level”), a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, for students having completed a 5-year secondary education program, with students qualifying to sit the GCE O’ Level examinations; and
Stage 2: The GCE Advanced Level (“A Level”), another subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies and authorities to students completing secondary or pre-university education, for students having completed a 2-year High School education program, and who have previously sat and been successful in at least 4 GCE O’ Level subjects. GCE A’ Level examinations are written by upper sixth students.
The General Certificate of Education is a pure UK system of education adopted by Anglo-SaxonCameroon.
In the 2015/16 academy year, about 182,416 candidates sat for both the GCE examinations in Cameroon with over 138,000 candidates for the O’ Level, and 46,000 for the A’ Level examinations.
It was founded in 1993, and the current Registrar is Monono Ekema Humprey, who took up the position in 2006.
The Cameroon GCE board was officially created in 1993, according to a book titled “The Cameroon GCE Crisis: A Test of Anglophone Solidarity.” The book says the creation of the board was spearheaded by Anglophone community groups, such as the Teachers’ Association of Cameroon (TAC), led by Mr. Peter Chateh; churches; Confederation of Anglophone Parents’ Teachers’ Association of Cameroon (CAPTAC), with other trade union groups also playing a pivot role in the creation of the board.
It took 10 years, from 1983 to October 1993 for a consensus to be reached by the aforementioned groups and the Government of Cameroon to create an examination board to award certificate to Anglophone Cameroonian students.
Before the Cameroon GCE board came to existence in 1993, certificates were awarded to Anglophone Cameroonian student by the General Certificate of Education in UK as it was a Trust Territory under British administration (known as British Cameroons) from 1922 to 1961.
Cameroon GCE Board Grading system
Letter grades are used and below is the grading system used by the Cameroon GCE board for the examinations it administers:
- GCE O Level Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, U
Letter grades A, B, and C represent a pass grade, with the A grade being the highest and the C grade being the lowest, and U (unclassified) representing a fail. Grades lower than C are not stated on the certificate.
- GCE A Level Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, O or F
Letter grades A, B, C, D, and E represent a pass grade, with the A grade being the highest and the E grade being the lowest. An F (fail) is not a passing grade and is not stated on the certificate.