The lofty ideas behind the school feeding programme of the Kaduna State Government, may have suffered a huge setback, as the state government on Monday said primary school pupils were deserting school after taking the free meal offered them.
According to the Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Adamu, the pupils have developed the habit of leaving school immediately after the free meal under the guise of going to drink water.
Adamu who spoke to journalists in Kaduna, said government was disturbed by the situation. He also appealed to parents to make sure that children remain in school after taking their free meals, so as not to jeopardize the programme.
The commissioner also insisted that it was the responsibility of parents to ensure that no child returned home until closing hours, “otherwise the aim would be defeated.”
According to him, the school feeding programme was introduced to encourage school enrollment, attendance and retention.
He said: “The main goal of the school feeding programme is to attract out-of-school children to school and keep them in class for them to acquire education and better their lives.
“We will not allow a situation where children will just come to school and leave the moment they finished eating their meals; if it is about water, we have already asked parents to provide water for their children.
“Therefore, parents have a responsibility of ensuring that the children do not only come to school on time, but remain in school till closing hours.”
On complains by food vendors over delay in their payment, Adamu said the issue is being sorted out and that the food vendors have told to open accounts with Heritage Bank. The bank is expected to carry out the verification of the vendors, after which payments would be made.
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