Four scenarios for skills in post COVID19 Cameroon


Four scenarios for skills in post COVID19 Cameroon


Fotabe University proposes four scenarios that may characterize skills in post COVID19 Cameroon

By Fotabe Elmine and Takor Ronald

As the world battles with the social and economic impact of COVID19, Cameroonians in the education sector are increasingly concerned about the impact that the pandemic could have on the already shaky education sector. The closure of schools and universities will not only affect the literacy levels, but will also affect the level of unemployment. Skill sets will definitely change, and cause considerable alterations in peoples abilities to acquire jobs.

To expose the possible extent of this impact, we formulated four scenarios presenting how the COVID19 could affect skills. We categorized them into hard and soft skills.

The four scenarios are as follows:

Scenario 1: Cameroonian students acquire greater soft skills: In this scenario, students take advantage of the lockdown and numerous E-learning options, media reports, medical analysis, students develop useful soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and others. During the global lockdown, interpersonal connecting with loved ones become an importance means of survival. Cameroonian students develop emotional intelligence as they become more empathetic. The post-COVID-19 births a new generation of young people equipped with soft skills that will contribute to the growth of local businesses and a gradual restart of the general economy.

Scenario 2: Cameroonian students lose soft skills: Under this scenario, Cameroonian students spend much of their time watching television, gossiping on social media, staying in bed, and trying new ideas to while time. These activities will lead to the erosion of soft skills such as time management, social skills such as networking, interpersonal communication, team work and others. Post COVID-19 exposes vulnerable organizations without the much-needed soft skills to take advantage of the business opportunities available. Many Cameroonian students either lose jobs or can’t find employment.

Scenario 3: Cameroonian Students acquire more hard skills: In this scenario, the Pandemic coerces companies into letting their employees work from home. The trend increases as governments worldwide make concerted efforts to put public safety first. Job opportunities open up to these students not just in Cameroon, but in the entire world. Students can acquire Jobs in the US, Canada, France, Russia, Spain and more.

Hence, cognizant of this, many Cameroonian students take advantage of the innumerable online and distance learning options to acquire hard skills and certifications in areas such as ICT and home office practice, Accounting, Finance, Project Management, and Entrepreneurship, just to name a few. IT skills and other hard skills that were considered as strategic capabilities quickly become threshold capabilities.

Performing video conferencing, data analytics, social media marketing, advanced spreadsheets, email and outlook are just some examples of skills that made people special in the past, which could become regular skills possessed by everyone after the pandemic. During the pandemic, people also continue to ponder over how to make a living amidst the crisis.

Survival instincts kick in and lead to an increase in creativity and innovation. People look for opportunities to make money both from the crises and through other means and resort to entrepreneurship. Hence, Post COVID-19 blossoms into a mature and ready labour market in Cameroon, with individuals possessing the necessary entrepreneurship and other hard skills needed to neutralize the effects of any impending economic recession. This ushers in a new age of thriving ventures. The overall effects being increased employment, successful entrepreneurial ventures, economic growth and long term economic developments.

Scenario 4 - Cameroonian Students lose hard skills: In this scenario, students in Cameroon treat the pandemic like a holiday. They stay at home and have fun to while away time. They spend time playing video games, searching out old friends on social media to catch up on lost time, watch soap operas, TV shows and movies. These activities lead to the erosion of already possessed hard skills such as IT, entrepreneurship, event management, project management and many others. Post COVID-19 does not only lead to the parturition of a society of organizations lacking the skill set necessary to face daily business challenges, but also a society of people in high deficiency of the skills needed to create and run successful businesses.