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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
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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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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)