Military High Schools are institutions that are under the control of the military of a country. These schools are reputed for their exceptional abilities to educate and discipline the youth while bringing the best out of them. The Nigerian Military is made up of three branches; the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, and the Nigerian Air force. Amongst them, there are more than sixty military high schools in Nigeria. Below is a review of three of the most popular military high schools in Nigeria;
Most Popular Military High Schools in Nigeria
1. Nigerian Military School, Zaria
History of the Nigerian Military School
The Nigerian Military School was founded on May 20, 1954, with the first intake of thirty boys known as the “First Platoon”.
The school was originally named Boys Company of Nigeria and the First Platoon was split into 4 houses namely; Exam, Inglis, Fairbanks, and Swynuerton. However, the plan to create “Boys Companies” in each of the four British West African colonies—Gambia, Gold Coast (Ghana), Nigeria, and Sierra Leone—followed the model of the Boys Wing of the British Army and dates back to 1951.
The majority of the pioneer set consisted of sons and wards of serving military members because the goal was to instill and promote family tradition in the service.
The defunct Nigerian Regimental Training Company (NRTC), now known as Depot NA, and Captain WU Bassey, the first Nigerian commissioned military officer, created the Boys Company as a full-fledged training school in May 1954. The number of students reached 200 two years later.
In 1957, the School’s mission was revised to place more emphasis on developing middle cadre skilled labor to replace the retiring British colony’s NCOs. This revised goal led to a revision of the School’s curriculum with a stronger focus on academics. Ten boys from the school took the overseas Armed Forces General Certificate Examination a year later, and the school thereafter changed to school certificate status.
In 1960, the name “Boys Company” was changed to Nigerian Military School (NMS) and the house’s name changed to Kaduna, Lagos, Ibadan, and Enugu. Major PJ Wakeman, a graduate of the British Army Education Corps, was selected as the school’s commanding officer in 1962 with the goal of fostering academic achievement.
Therefore, the school started a five-year secondary school training program. The first group of boys took the WAEC Exam in 1965, and they did wonderfully well. Since then, the School has consistently performed exceptionally well on assessments.
Following the adoption of the new National Policy on Education, NMS now offers a six-year training program divided into three-year-long junior and senior secondary classes. Teachers at the School who are competent and capable include officers, senior non-commissioned officers, Ministry of Defence employees, temporary employees, and members of the youth corps.
Administrative Structure of the Nigerian Military School
The Nigerian Military School (NMS) is divided into Headquarters (HQ NMS), Education Wing, Military Wing, Boys Battalion (BBn), and Administrative Company:
a. HQ NMS:
The administrative hub of the institution is the HQ NMS. All other wings, departments, and cells in the school are coordinated by it. The Commandant leads the HQ with assistance from the Deputy Comdt. The Adjutant, Finance Officer, RSM, and Chief Clerk are also staff of the HQ. In addition to coordinating activities, the HQ is responsible for the administration, welfare, and general order of personnel, civilian staff, and corps members sent to work in NMS.
b. Education Wing:
The enormous task of providing the Boys with academic instruction falls to the Education Wing. When the school upgraded to a secondary school, the wing was created in 1962. It was created as a result of the expanding requirement for junior commanders to be competent and well-informed in order to manage troops under command. The wing also makes it easier for school graduates to get accepted into the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) and other top universities throughout the world. Therefore, the academic program in NMS is created to offer the information necessary to carry out these duties as well as to generate prospects for future academic and professional development.
c. Military Wing:
The school’s founding saw the creation of the Military Wing. All military and physical training programs must be planned, programmed, and carried out by the wing. The Boys will be exposed to the military knowledge and physical fitness needed to become soldiers through these training exercises.
d. Boys Battalion (BBn):
The Boys Battalion Commander (BBC), with assistance from a Second-in-Command, Administrative Officer (AO), Bn RSM, Bn RQMS, and Bn Chief Clerk, is in charge of the BBn. The NA ORBAT formed the BBn in 1996 to offer efficient management and administration of the Boys. The goal is to lessen the massive administrative burden placed on HQ NMS, Military, and Education Wings, particularly after school.
e. The Administrative Company:
The Administrative Company offers service support for the administration and training of Boys and Personnel. The company is responsible for the welfare, order, and general management of the soldiers stationed at NMS. An OC leads the company with assistance from the Company Second-in-Command, Company Sergeant Major (CSM), and Company Chief Clerk.
2. Air Force Military School, Jos, Nigeria
History of the Air Force Military School, Jos, Nigeria
The Air Force Military School, Jos (AFMS) was created on 18th August 1980 by the Nigerian Air Force through establishment order 3/80. The main goal is to give post-primary school students a well-rounded academic and technical education as well as military training.
The instruction will provide a solid foundation for their future service in the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian Air Force. The students are accepted as Junior Airmen (JAM), and their rank badges are inverted to signify their junior status. They wear school uniforms that are similar to those worn by service members. The institution, which is a boys’ school, is entirely residential.
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All of the different wings’ activities are coordinated by the school headquarters. The Commandant is in charge of the school’s administrative center. The school’s administrative officer, finance officer, and officer in charge of the kitchen all report to the Commandant. The Supply Squadron, the Examination Unit, and the Guidance and Counseling unit are further sub-units under the Headquarters.
All academic activities at the school are coordinated by the academic wing. The Chief Academic Instructor is in charge of the wing (CIA). The Academics Squadron, Examinations Squadron, Library Squadron, and Co-Curricular Squadron are the three squadrons that make up the Academic Wing. There are 5 departments in the Academic Squadron, all of which are led by Principal Instructors (PIs). These departments include Mathematics, languages, science, technology, and business/humanities.
All of the school’s military-related events must be coordinated by the Military Wing. The Chief Instructor Military is in charge of this wing. The Sports Squadron, Band Squadron, Tailoring Squadron, and Military Training Squadron are the four squadrons that make up the Military Wing. Drill, Map Reading, Weapon Training, and Tactics/Field Training are among the military training classes given at the institution.
Other subjects taught as part of the military curriculum include physical training, communication skills, regimental music, air force law, first aid, and general service knowledge. Bush Camping Exercises, Shooting Range Exercises, Obstacle Crossing Competitions, Inter Squadron Sports Competitions, and other military-related events are held at the school.
Junior Airman (JAM) Wing:
The JAM Wing is largely in charge of maintaining order and the well-being of the students. The JAM Wing Commanding Officer is in charge of the Wing (COJW). There are 4 Squadrons in the Wing; Alpha, Jaguar, Dornier, and Puma Squadrons, each led by a Squadron Commander. The JAM Recreational Centre and the Sick Bay are two more sub-units under the control of the Students’ Wing.
3. Nigerian Navy Military School, Imot Ntuen, Akwa Ibom State
His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom state, commissioned the school on Wednesday, 23rd May 2018.
The institution was constructed by the state government in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and has already started academic activities with around 60 students.
Upon graduation from these schools, most of them proceed to apply and study at the Nigerian Defence Academy.