THE Northern Areas Education Forum (NAEF) has joined forces with church leadership in the area and will hold a mass church service to pray for the state of education on Sunday.
The NAEF – which represents the interests of 56 schools in the northern areas – said the prayer service would be held at 3pm at the United Congregational Church in Bloemendal.
“The decision to arrange the service was to pray for our children, educators and community,” NAEF secretary Richard Draai said.
“The forum decided to approach the church leadership because most of our children, educators and families belong to a church.
“The church cannot remain quiet during this period.”
Draai said the church’s brigade bands would lead processions from 2pm on Sunday from various points in the community and march to the church for the service.
“The forum has over the last 12 months sought the intervention of various government officials and departments to assist in the plight of our children. The response did not materialise.”
Draai said the traffic department would support and control the processions.
“All schools will participate in the march and will display placards depicting the plight of our schools.”
Draai said some of the issues the NAEF would raise during the service were the non-payment of teachers and the latest staff establishment which indicates that 1 000 teacher posts will be shed.
He said mayor Danny Jordaan was expected to attend the service.
“Affected educators will be encouraged to tell their stories on the impact of not being paid by the department.”