The Kaduna state government under the leadership of Governor Nasir El-Rufai has begged parents to support the implementation of the free-feeding programme by ensuring that, no child returns home after taking their free meal until closing hour, otherwise the aim of the program would be defeated.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Shehu Adamu, made the appeal in Kaduna, while briefing newsmen on the progress recorded in the state’s Free-Feeding Programme.
He noted that, the programme aims at ensuring that school age children in the state are not only in school but remain in school to acquire the free basic education being offered, but reports have shown that pupils have developed the habit of leaving school immediately after the free meal is served.
He said excuses of going home to drink water should never be an issue as they had already asked parents to provide water for their wards. He said, “It is also their responsibility to ensure that the children do not only come to school on time, but remain in school till closing hours.
“The main goal of the school-feeding programme is to attract out-of-school children back to school and keep them in class 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 finish eating their meals. If it is water, we have already asked parents to provide water for their children.”
On challenges of food vendors accessing monies on time for the programme, Adamu explained that government has directed them to (individually) open an account with Heritage Bank, where they would receive monies directly into their accounts.
“Bank officials would screen and capture all the vendors in their respective Local Government Areas. The measure was to stop the current method whereby vendors collect their money through cooperatives heads, which gave room for all kinds of extortion and mischief,” he pointed out.