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The Plateau House of Assembly (PLHA) has urged the Plateau Government to provide bailout funds to proprietors of private schools to augment payment of their staff salaries which could not be paid due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The house presided over by its Speaker, Mr Abok Ayuba, arrived at the resolution after a motion of notice by Mr Philip Dasun (APC Pankshin North).

Dasun said that the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected schools nationwide, making it difficult for them to function properly, not to talk of paying teachers’ salaries.

“Teachers in private schools have not been paid salaries for about five to six months now, making some families go through untold hardship.

“The state government should strive to provide bailout, grants or any form of intervention to help proprietors of private schools to pay salaries of their teaching and non teaching staff,” he said.

Mr Musa Agah (APC Rukuba/Irigwe), described the situation as sad, adding that proprietors and teachers could barely fend for their families.

Agah stated that as representatives of the people, the lawmakers felt their pains.

He urged government to consider its fundamental constitutional responsibility which was to take care of the security and welfare of the people.

Mrs Esther Dusu (PDP Jos North West), described the motion as compassionate, saying that the providers of education must be appreciated.

“According to details, about 29,000 teachers and 900 non-teaching staff in Plateau have been without salaries for some months now.

“You can imagine the sufferings of the families of those affected,” she said.

The lawmaker called on government to as a matter of urgency, come to their aid in whatever way possible.

Mr Nanbol Daniel in his contribution, suggested that only registered schools that were paying tax to government should be considered.

Daniel also suggested that schools be categorised based on their data with government for them to benefit.

The speaker directed the committees on finance, appropriation and health to find out why some private school proprietors in the state had not been paying teachers despite the fact that some parents still paid school fees even as schools were not in session.

The committees were to conclude their report and submit to the house within three days.

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