Secondary School Students Lament Shortage of Teachers, Stage Protest in Rivers State

Students of the Community Junior Secondary School, Olanada in Rumuola Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have protested over shortage of teachers in their school.

The junior secondary students stormed the streets on Monday February 15, 2021, with placards inscribed “we need more teachers”.

The protesters lamented that their education is in jeopardy if urgent steps are not taken.

The students stated that shortage of teachers has hindered adherence to social distancing. They added that classes in the school merge to learn as there were only a few teachers in the school. .

One of the students, a Junior Secondary three student said that many teachers in the school had retired and new teachers were not employed.

He added that the Federal Government N-Power scheme teachers have long stopped teaching them.

“All our teachers have retired with no replacement, our junior WAEC is coming up and we don’t have teachers for core subjects like mathematics and the English language and how are we going to pass the exams without a teacher, that is why we are protesting to the government to give us teachers because the N-Power teachers no longer come to teach us.

“JSS one that has over 400 students use to join JSS two to learn because there is no teacher, making the class overcrowded and tight, so we don’t don’t obey social distancing law here,” he said.

Another student said there was no handwashing facility, as the water drums with taps provided for them were always empty.

“We have two water drums with taps, but they are always empty, we can’t use them and there is no soap or hand sanitizer for us to use, all these things are what we are talking about.

“We want the government to help us, that is all we want,” he said.

When asked if the school management was in support of their actions, one of the students said, “They are against it, they don’t want us to say our problems or let people know but our future is at stake, that is why we are angry.

“We organised ourselves on our own to protest because we come to school and go back home without learning, most parents have removed their children from here, but our parents who are poor cannot take us to other schools, that is why we are angry.”

The state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, expressed dismay over the students’ protest.

He stated that the state government would ensure the situation was tackled immediately.

“The Ministry of Education and its agencies like SUBEB or the Schools Board may not know that teachers are not there, although we have our inspectors who go out from time to time.

“Though I am not pleased to hear that children have protested despite the efforts we are making to ensure that they are well educated,” he said.

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About the author

Akeem Alao

Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.

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