By Nadesh E.
Since its creation in 1998 as the St. Francis School of Nursing and Midwifery aimed at training nurses, the now Biaka University Institute of Buea (BUIB) has for the ‘first time’ hosted a Vice-Chancellor from it mother University of Buea, UB. Despite BUIB being a mentee university under UB, officials like the VC of the mentor university have never visited to have a one-on-one working session apart from graduation ceremonies.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buea, Professor Ngomo Horace Manga decided to break the record when he made his first official visit to the renowned health institution on September 2, 2020. His visit stems from the necessity to keep abreast with academic mentorship and quality control for private higher education institutions.
The BUIB VC and her entire staff have expressed gratitude over this gesture and have shown their wish to see Prof Ngomo again in their upcoming graduation ceremony in November 2020. They have described his acceptance to visit as an opportunity to express their desire to meet up with the expectations of their mentor university-UB which is generally acclaimed as one of the best in Cameroon.
In an address to the August guest and his entourage, the Vice-Chancellor of BUIB, Dr Francisca Biaka has assured him of BUIB’s thrive to respect the rules governing higher institutions and says she is waiting for the day UB will say Biaka is ready to be on its own.
Dr Biaka embarked on a guided tour with the guest to visit different infrastructures of the institution like a library, laboratories, stimulating centre and classrooms.
Though appreciating the help UB has been giving to BUIB, and like ‘Oliver Twist’, the Deputy VC of BUIB in charge of Academic Affairs, Professor Fonkem George listed to the UB boss a couple of problems faced by its mentee university.
Some of the challenges faced by BUIB as presented by Prof Fonkem
- The difficulty of making a difference between UB and BUIB programs. Some experts from UB during the review of program wanting BUIB programs to be the same as UB’S without considering BUIB’s program uniqueness.
- Increasing cost of mentorship making it difficult BUIB to take care of its staff and other responsibilities. BUIB is sometimes asked to pay the registration fees for their students in concurrent with the academic year.
- Lack of communication between the Academic staff of UB and the faculty of Health Sciences because they wrote questions about BUIB’s authorisation to run some programs which have been approved by UB.
- Victimisation for UB staff who try to water down BUIB’s efforts.
- BUIB’s academic staff do not have research allowances
- Delay in issuing certificates affects students
In response to BUIB, Prof Ngomo UB has promised to accompany them institution in their future infrastructural projects. He believes the two institutions are serving the same purpose of expanding academics and contributing to the socio-economic vibrance of difficulties enumerated by BUIB.
The UB VC said his institution holds Biaka in high esteem, and that UB is not doing Biaka a favour by being its mother university but merely fulfilling its own part of the education journey. “Biaka has the right to come to the ministry of higher education and ask for help in case of any difficulties”. He added
About Biaka University
The Biaka University was founded in 1998 by Dr Francis Lawrence Tonye Biaka, then known as the St. Francis School of Nursing and Midwifery aimed at training nurses. In 2016, the Minister of Higher Education authorized the institution to be transformed into the Biaka University Institute of Buea.
It was given the honour to run 3 schools- School of Health Sciences, School of Education and School of Management Sciences. The courses offered include Higher National Diploma-HND, Bachelor BSc program and post-graduate studies at the various schools.
The School of Health Sciences with 5 departments is the flagship program which has given the institution the name it has for training nurses and health personnel. BUIB has a student population of over 2000 with over 120 full and part-time staff.
Get more information about BUIB here.