n African Human Rights Law Journal - Realising the right to primary education in Cameroon

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Cameroon is party to all international and regional instruments providing for the right to education, and compulsory and free primary education in particular. The article examines Cameroon's compliance with the right to free education, based on the normative content of the right to education, defined by the United Nations Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights as compulsory and free universal access to primary education that is available, accessible, acceptable and appropriately adapted (known as the '4 A's'). The article reviews to what extent primary education is compulsory and free to all children in Cameroon; it focuses on the 4 A's framework and assesses the justiciability of the right. The article concludes that, although primary education is compulsory in the country, it is not yet available, accessible and adaptable, but is largely acceptable when it is available. Furthermore, the justiciability of the right to primary education is hindered by constitutional practices such as the lack of standing in court for private individuals, the lack of constitutional remedies in case of a violation of rights, and weak separation of powers, characterised by the pre-eminence of the executive.

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