We have watched with increasing dismay the level at which the system has been mismanaged over the years and if an urgent attention is not taken to correct these anomalies a serious crises may soon erupt in the system. Some of these problems have really worked against the aims and objectives on which the Police Children and Secondary Schools in the country were established. Records show that the reasons why these schools were established was to minimize or eliminate the bottlenecks in the admission of children of serving Police Officers who are always transferred from one part of the country to another during their service years.
Evidence has shown today that due to the poor managerial skills of the Force Education Officers on school administration, the schools have suffered dwindling and retrogressive progress since inception. The Force Education Officers who are usually without any Education bias qualification are posted to manage Education Unit, thereby exhibiting ineptitude and lapses. Some of their actions have over the years resulted to one form of chaotic situation or the other.
It is evidently clear that all the Force Education Officers only come to the unit enrich themselves at the detriment of the schools they are meant to supervise. This is a case you may wish to investigate as cogent and revealing evidence are there to proof this allegation. They (FEOs) come to the Education Unit to enrich themselves without recourse as most of them often live in luxury like ‘Kings and Governors’ during their tenures.
The aforementioned facts are indeed very peculiar with the present Force Education Officer, DCP Mbu J Mbu who has endeared and carved out a niche for himself. For the past two and a half years he has served as the Force Education Officer (FEO), he has acquired a fortune for himself. He lives in highly glorified luxury while his subjects (staff) lives in abject penury, he travels to any part of the country and overseas at will. He is a man with no Education bias qualification, yet was sent to head a school system. Facts have it that any time the FEO (the Gladiator Boss) comes around, the schools tremble and quiver and people walk with their toes especially the commandants, head teachers, vice principals and other principal officers. This because he is very intimidating, rude, arrogant, saucy, impudent, insulting, ill-mannered and inconsiderate.
It is also pertinent to bring to your notice some of the harsh conditions, intimidation and victimization we have suffered in the hands of this tyrant FEO (aka Ogar). Some of these conditions include the recent mass transfer carried out in the Police Children and Secondary Schools across the federation. Transfer is good and inevitable in the public service, but here it is a thing of sadness as teachers are transferred in a crisscross manner across the country without any provision for their transfer benefits. This has brought untold hardship to so many of us because some people have to travel over 900km from one part of the country to another. The risk and financial implications are quite enormous due to the security situation in the country, especially in the northern parts, the relative high cost of transportation occasioned by the increase in fuel price and the displacement of families.
In addition to these, the FEO has also imposed the payment of rent on civilian staff residing in the Police school quarters, with threats of forceful ejection of defaulters. It is also important to note here, in case you have not been properly briefed that we (civilian staff working with the Nigeria Police Force) are still being owed 39months arrears of monetization benefits. This is a Federal Government policy, initiated in 2004 that affected all civil servants and public office holders. One year arrears of this money was paid for 2007 and the balance yet to be paid. Evidence also reveals that the police authority through its budget office collected this money from the ministry of finance and has refused to remit same to the intended beneficiaries. The police authority, in another development from reliable sources went extra miles in thwarting the complete taking over by ministry of police affairs. This was made evident in the resent cancellation of the IPPIS exercise that has already captured majority of civilian staff working with the police.
Another area that may require urgent attention is the recent mass employment saga that was single handedly carried out by the Force Education Officer, where so many unqualified teachers were indiscriminately employed. It is also worth mentioning that this mass employment did not follow due process and equally did not consider federal character. It may also interest you to know that this exercise is still ongoing and a particular State of the Federation (i.e. Cross River) has received over 60% of the entire allotment in the employment exercise. It is therefore unarguably clear that the Force Education Unit has exhibited with great flare; ethnic, tribal and religious sentiments in its employment process. A fact finding exercise will reveal to you that employment in the Force Education Unit is not based on qualification and needs, rather it is based on any/some of the following parameters; ethnicity, tribe, religion and cash and carry bases. Some subject areas in police schools are over staffed while others are under staffed because anybody irrespective of qualification and area of specialization is employed based on these parameters.
It is also important to know that it is only in Police Schools that fresh employment into the system starts from grade levels 14, 13, 12, 10, 09 and 08 step 5 as the case may be, depending on how influential your source is, or relationship with the Force Education Officer. One notable example of this employment brouhaha, is the present vice principal of Police Secondary School, Calabar, who was employed by the Force Education Unit, without any form of service merger on grade level 14 and immediately posted as vice principal academics. This situation is highly appalling and demeaning to the academic system, especially when there are so many senior officers of the same level and above already on ground.
Punitive transfer is quite incessant in the system. Anyone who offends ‘Ogar’ or any of his people or cabal members is transferred immediately to any part of the country especially the Inspectorate Unit. Facts also shows that he has established so many inspectorate units across the country where he transfers his offenders to, and bench them as he normally say. It is also a thing of fact that it is only in the force education unit that seniority in service is never followed for the posting of officers. A research or fact finding visits to our schools will reveal to you that some head teachers or vice principals are juniors to some of their subordinates in terms of grade levels, qualification, entry point and years of employment.
It is important to also note that most of our schools, both primary and secondary are grossly starved of fund. The Force Education Officer has made himself signatory to virtually all the accounts in the schools and no head teacher or commandant can withdraw money without his approval. Monies meant for school administration and student feeding are diverted and misappropriated.
It may also sound awkward and preposterous, but the facts remain that we are not unaware that the police authority through its budget office receives civilian staff emoluments as police officers from the Federal Government, but fraudulently pay them as civil servants. In addition to this, the new Federal Government N18, 000.00 minimum wage is still eluding the civilian staff of the Nigeria Police Force.
Consequent on the aforementioned irregularities and ill-structured system, we wish to make the following recommendations;
1. The force education officer whose duty is to supervise the education unit/directorate should not be less than the rank of a commissioner of police
2. The force education officer must have at least a minimum qualification of first degree in education
3. The commandants posted to the secondary schools should have a minimum rank of deputy commissioner of police
4. The commandant must have at least a minimum qualification of first degree in education
5. All the regularized civilian staff of police schools should hence forth be absorbed by the ministry of police affairs, with the following functions taken over from the force education unit;
- Employment of teachers
- Promotion of teachers
- Discipline of teachers
- Transfer of teachers
- Payment of teachers’ salaries and
- Training and re-training of teachers
6. The IPPIS biometric capturing exercise that was nullified should be reinstated and those omitted be captured immediately
7. There should be at least 4 vice principals in the secondary schools to assist the commandants in the day to day running of the schools. These vice principals shall exist as VP Administration, VP Academics, for both junior and senior secondary schools
8. The number of Education Inspectorate offices are grossly too numerous, hence should be reduced to 6, with one in each of the 6 geo-political zones of the country
9. The heads of the Education Inspectorates should be officers not less than grade level 15; the vice principals, not less than grade level 14 and head teachers, not less than grade level 13
10. All head teachers that have served for more than 10 years in such position should be sent to the Research and Inspectorates for contemporary, fresher and newer ideology to take over
11. Incessant transfer of officers should be minimized to the barest minimal
12. Officers that were transferred from one part of the country to another without transfer allowances should be paid immediately without further delay, by the force education unit in conjunction with the police budget office
13. More police secondary schools should be established, especially in the geo-political zones where none is in existence. Police children schools should as well be established in all the state capitals where there is none at the moment
14. The recent employment exercise that was carried out without following due process should be nullified and only those that qualified should be re-invited for interview and screening with federal character/quota system duly considered
15. The pressure on civilian staff living in police school quarters to pay rent for their accommodation should be stopped and refunds should be made to those that have already made some payments
16. To avoid complete chaos and crises which is already looming in the system, the police authority should as a mater of urgency pay the remaining 39 months of monetization arrears of the civilian staff working with the police
17. The award of contracts and the rehabilitation of structures in police schools should be thoroughly supervised. This is in respect of the fact that most of the new projects and rehabilitation of already existing ones in recent times never followed due process
18. Student feeding should also be looked into as adequate subventions would do a lot in improving the quantity and quality of food in our refectories
19. The police authority should introduce an education corps directorate under the force education unit where police officers with education bias qualification can be enlisted and posted to schools as teachers. This is what is attainable in the Navy, Air force and Command schools
20. Teachers that are not more than grade level 10 and/ or not more than 40 years of age already in the system should be given the opportunity to choose, to either belong to the Education Corps Directorate or the Ministry of Police Affairs
21. The promotion of teachers should be carried out as at when due. Stagnated promotion is predominant in the system and should be eradicated to enhance teaching and learning performance.
22. The new federal government salary structure of N18, 000.00 minimum wage should be implemented and the arrears, which started from March 2011, be paid without further delay.