Sampson Itode, Port Harcourt
Students of the Community Junior Secondary School, Olanada in Rumuola Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday staged a peaceful protest over inadequate teachers in their school.
The junior secondary pupils who came out in their numbers to the streets on Monday with placards inscribed “we need more teachers” said their education was in jeopardy if nothing was done immediately.
The students noted that classes in the school now merge to learn as there were only a few teachers in the school, making physical distancing COVID-19 safety measure impossible during learning hours.
He added that the Federal Government N-Power scheme teachers have long stopped teaching them.
Peter said, “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.”
Another student said they don’t have a 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.”
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.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, expressed dismay over the students’ protest, adding 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.”