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Tens of Thousands of Cameroon Students without Teachers due to Boko Haram Terrorism

General Jacob Kodji, one of the commanders of Cameroonian troops fighting Boko Haram, has sought to reassure teachers and coax them back into the classrooms

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FILE - Muslim boys rest their heads on their desks during a language class at Al-Haramain madrassa at the Islamic Complex in Cameroon's capital Yaounde. Teachers, especially in the north, are afraid to return to their classrooms because of Boko Haram. VOA

Cameroon’s government says at least 500 teachers in the north have not reported for duty this school year amid safety concerns.

The Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram has targeted schools since its insurgency began in 2009. The nickname of the group roughly translates as “Western education is sinful.”

General Jacob Kodji, one of the commanders of Cameroonian troops fighting Boko Haram, has sought to reassure teachers and coax them back into the classrooms.

He told VOA the commanders have been working in collaboration with the administration and education officials to prevent any attacks. He says they are asking the population, including parents, teachers and students, to report suspicious people and share information to keep everyone safe.

Dire straits

Officials of the Cameroon Teachers Trade Union, including Secretary General Tassang Wilfred, say children are paying the price.

“We send out a clarion call for teachers to teach the children the nation has put at their disposal with all their energy in spite of the very harsh conditions in which most of us have to work,” Wilfred said. “We look at the plight of children. Their future seems bleak.”

Cameroon, featuring the cities of Douala, Yaounde, Garoua, Kousseri, Bamenda, Maroua, Bafoussam, Mokolo, Ngaoundere, and Bertoua. VOA
Cameroon, featuring the cities of Douala, Yaounde, Garoua, Kousseri, Bamenda, Maroua, Bafoussam, Mokolo, Ngaoundere, and Bertoua. VOA

Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of Cameroon’s Far North region, also has called on teachers to resume their duty. The governor says better security measures have been put in place.

But teachers are still afraid.

Two years ago, Boko Haram attacked a school in Tourou, setting it on fire. Several children were killed or wounded, officials said.

The government reopened the school this year. But only two of its eight teachers were present when VOA visited.

Vicious attacks

Teacher Ngeunang Timothy said they were traumatized by the attack.

“When they came that day, we were so sad because we ran from Tourou to Mokolo on foot,” he said. “We are now back in Tourou again and I think the government has taken a serious measure so as to keep our school safe and to enable us do our work smoothly.”

In the north, teachers have refused to go back to school.

As the school year opened last month, the government said 100,000 children displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency do not have access to education. Officials now say the teacher shortage in the north has put the education of an additional 100,000 students in jeopardy.

Boko Haram is blamed for about 20,000 deaths since beginning its insurgency in northern Nigeria in 2009. The Islamist extremist group says it wants to create a strict Islamic state in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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cryptocurrency. google
Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?