Education is prized by MACEFCOOP members, who invest - and often sacrifice much - for their children's future. There are some particularly good schools in the MACEFCOOP area.

The Fairtrade Premium is used by MACEFCOOP in part to support education in the area.

Our children used to sit on the floor to write but now the cooperative has given our schools some benches
Vice President of Akwaya society

All children attend a local primary school. Most now attend secondary school until they are at least 16 but this usually involves travel and boarding.

Presbyterian School, Bessongabang

When parents can afford nursery school education for their children they go at about three years of age, attending until the age of five or six.

Primary education lasts from ages five or six to about twelve. This is the only part of a child's education that is compulsory in Cameroon. Primary schools are a mixture of Government-owned ones and those run by religious denominations. There are no tuition fees at the Government schools. There are final exams and, to graduate, pupils must pass their First School Leaving Certificate and the Common Entrance Examination.

Mamfé Town Government Primary School to which desks were donated

Subject to passing the exams and their parents being able to afford the next stage of education, students go on to Secondary or Grammar schools, to technical or vocational Schools, or to the workplace. Tuition at government schools is free. Higher education is also available: Cameroon's Ministry of Higher Education operates six public universities.

For Cameroon as a whole, about 90% of those who are entitled, enrol at pimary school, but the figure for rural areas is only 60% and school facilities are generally much poorer.

Presbyterian School, Bessongabang

Class using desks donated by MACEFCOOP from FT premium

MACEFCOOP Factory Manager Tabe Christopher with a teacher from Besongabang Presbyterian School, Obi Fidelise

To see additional information about education for the children of MACEFCOOP, click here. There is also a sortable list of the schools in the Manyu Division.

Adult Education

Adult literacy is also much lower in rural areas than the national average of 70% and this can affect farmers' ability to assimilate new methods and any associated technology.

Education and training for MACEFCOOP members themselves is also a high priority, whether this is in the form of the Literacy Programme, education about methods to improve cultivation and processing, or in other forms of further education.

From a sample of 50 typical members, 60% could not read or write effectively.

Initiatives have resulted in tangible progress in many areas; for example, through the REMA project, funded by the UK Community Fund (now the Big Lottery Fund):

10 literacy teachers have been trained by the Women Empowerment Centre, a local NGO.

Beginners and Advanced classes are now held 3 times a week for 2 hours a primary school or Section Store, with 11 teachers for 14 classes

Training sessions have been provided by the African Institute for Economic and Social Development (Institut Africain pour le Développement Economique et Social - Centre Africain de formation - INADES) in:

Cooperative law and principles;
Leadership skills;
Human resources.

Through training we know how to ferment our cocoa properly, that is why our quality has improved; we are 79 members and there was only one case of rejected cocoa
a member of MACEFCOOP society

Before we could not keep accounts in the society, now it is up to us to keep our accounts and we can keep better records
the Secretary of Akwaya society