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Crisis Rocks Military Secondary Schools

Posted by BY EMMA EKE on 2005/01/18 | Views: 328 |

Crisis Rocks Military Secondary Schools


UNLESS something is done urgently, the on-going crisis at the various colleges under the military school management system may snowball into a major problem and may have an adverse effect on the performance of students at major examinations like the Junior Secondary Certificate Examination and Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSSCE/SSCE).

UNLESS something is done urgently, the on-going crisis at the various colleges under the military school management system may snowball into a major problem and may have an adverse effect on the performance of students at major examinations like the Junior Secondary Certificate Examination and Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSSCE/SSCE).

Already, teachers in the three arms of the military secondary schools: the Army, Navy and Airforce, have embarked on work-to-rule action following what they termed the "insensitivity of the Ministry of Defence" to issues of welfare of the teachers.

A member of an ad-hoc group set up by the teachers, the Joint Action Committee On Plight of Command School Teachers (JACPCST), Mr. Robert Otuchere told The Guardian that after a period of six weeks of negotiation between the teachers and the ministry officials over the payment of salary of teachers, there was a clear indication by government officials to frustrate the teachers. This include the non-release of their salaries and leave bonus entitlements for the past three months.

He explained that other non-military personnel working in the military hospitals and other ancillary services are also affected in the non-payment of salaries saga.

But a senior official of the Defence Ministry refuted the allegation, saying it is not true to say there was a deliberate attempt to owe teachers and medical personnel. According to him, the non-release of last budget quota allocation on time contributed to the delay in the payment of salaries.

"There has not been any evidence in the past that the ministry has been found wanting in payment of salary and that is why it is embarrassing that the teachers embarked on work -to -rule just for one month salary arrears," the official said.

It was gathered that when the teachers did not succeed in getting the ministry to release the salary before Christmas, they took their case to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

A teacher at the Nigerian Navy Secondary School (NNSS) Ojo, Lagos said the policy makers failed to realise that the education of the young is essential in the life of a society.

"Though we (teachers) are on strike, we are feeling its impact as it affects our students, especially those preparing for external examinations."
A parent who spoke with The Guardian, on condition of anonymity, said that he had just paid the SSCE and other fees to the school authorities whereas his daughter is still at home as a result of the strike.

The situation at most of the command colleges visited was pathetic, as classrooms were empty, while some of the students were seen loitering about.

A student in SS3 at the NNSS, Apapa said her parents have made alternative arrangement outside the school for private coaching.

"As a science student, it is compulsory I pass my practical examination in the external examination, hence my concern on how long the on going strike would last for my first paper, which is in May 12," said Jude Olajide of Command College, Oshodi.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.