Some final year university students who aspired to graduate by December this year, are disgruntled with the turnout of events and school lockdown put in place as a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19, as they fear that this may likely lead to them spending more time in school than they expected.
Though they admit that school shutdown is a necessary step to prevent the spread of the disease, they still frown at the possibility of spending an extra year in school if this was to persist.
Marie-Thea Kuma, a final year student at the Advanced School of Mass Communication, ASMAC, thinks School shutdown is a good strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But, on the other hand, it has a negative influence especially on the final year students.
“We have a programme which is supposed to be going on at this time. The shutting down of schools will prevent our objective from being attained and eventually we might reach a situation where we will have to prolong our stay in school, which will entirely alter our plans for the future. I am not comfortable with it and I wish online classes could be enforced so we can meet up with our programme,” she said.
Just as many, Christabel Nkwenti took COVID-19 for granted as she did not believe it concerned Africans. But, with the disease reaching Cameroon and social distancing enforced to the extent of shutting down schools, she now saw how serious it is. “I cannot miss my future like this. Time is passing and my plans could be altered. It is encouraging that lecturers plan to start giving lectures online. But, knowing that plans for my future may be delayed makes me worry. I pray that God should intervene and I believe that He is the only hope,” she says.
This issue does not only bother students but leave their parents troubled as well. Canisia Nadesh, a student in the University of Buea explains that, as a final year student, it is painful for schools to be locked down at this time of the year when she had the certainty of graduating by December.
“When making my plans, I did not consider such a disease but now, it feels like I need to prepare a plan B. The thought of not being able to graduate this year is not only painful to me but to my parents as well. Though it is very important for us not to get affected, it is unbearable to think that I might spend an extra year before graduating.”
While other students are more occupied with school shutdown and its effects, Gertrude Yufenyuy is more concerned with the salvation of her soul, as she says the coming of the pandemic has acted as an eye opener to her.
“As a final year student I am obviously worried about the fact that we may not graduate any time soon if this pandemic persists but I am more concerned about my salvation. This period has acted as an eye opener to me and I have come to realise that not even school or money will safe me if my life is not straight. The rate at which the disease is killing people has shown me the emptiness of life. I pray every day that if this disease is here to consume us all, May I be saved. I just want to see Christ,” she stated.
All what is left for us to do to combat this virus is to respect measures put in place by government; wash our hands often, avoid touching our faces, call the emergency number in case of any symptoms and stay away from crowded areas. If this is done and effectively, schools might just reopen earlier than we expected and life will be back to normal.