Lokoja - Teachers in public primary and junior secondary schools in Kogi have organised an inter-faith prayer session aimed at rescuing the basic education sector from collapse.
The teachers under the aegis of Basic Education Staff Association (BESAN) held the prayers in Lokoja on Monday.
They prayed God to enable those in government to do the right thing and protect the future of the children of the less privileged.
The officiating clergy, Pastor Ejiri Godwin and Imam Abdulrahman Danladi, admonished the officials of the state government and teachers to work together to solve the problems in the sector.
They also appealed to the feuding parties to shift grounds in their positions so that all public primary and secondary schools which had been closed down for the past six months would reopen.
The BSAN Chairman, Sulieman Adomu, said the association resorted to prayers to seek God’s intervention in the face-off with state government so that the pupils could return to school.
Adomu said the situation at the basic education level in the state had reached a worrisome level, saying that the pupils lost five months in 2012/2013 academic session to teachers’ strike.
The chairman said the resumption of academic activities for 2013/2014 academic year had also become impossible for now.
He said the development had made many parents to lose confidence in public schools, saying that this had led to a sharp drop in enrolment figures and students population in government-owned schools.
Adomu said the development had led to an increase in the number of street children, portending a bleak future for the educational and economic growth of the state.
He urged the state government to implement the national minimum wage for teachers in the basic education sector and also effect the payment of promotion and annual salary increment.
Adomu warned that public schools in the state would remain closed until the teachers' demands were met by the government.