Princess Clarisse Douala Bell presided at the opening of a two-month course at the Bell Township Palace in Douala on July 1, 2014.

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Studies have proven that mother tongue has been relegated to the rear by most youth in favour of foreign languages which has negatively played on the nation’s cultural identity. The government in 2009 recommended the teaching of vernaculars in schools but most schools did not take it seriously.

In order to give Duala dialect the importance it deserves, Princess Clarisse Douala Bell and the Queen Mother of the Bell Township, Delphine Douala Bell, in 2013 created the Duala dialect school where 130 children were enrolled. During the launching of the second edition of the dialect courses on July 1st, the First Notable of the Bonadooh family, Alexandre Lottin Ndoumbe, enjoined the over 120 children present to take classes seriously and be of exemplary behaviour.

To the over 12 instructors, he urged them to give in their best for the development of the children and the nation in general. The children who span from two and half years to 18 years are divided into four levels depending on their understanding of the dialect. To Paul Gerald Ndoumbe, one of the instructors, the children will not only learn how to write and read the dialect, but will as well be taught some Sawa cultural values like dressing, cooking, singing, and proverbs.

Since dressing is one of the cultures that are fast disappearing, Princess Clarisse’ Public Relations Officer, Jean Marcel Moukoko, said the children will put on typical Sawa dresses to school daily, that is, “Kaba” for girls and shirt and loin cloth for boys. Paola Ndoumbe, a level four child, admitted after the first class that she can read and write days of the week and months of the year.

 

Source : Cameroon Tribune