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States lament as crisis hits Buhari’s school feeding scheme

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Federal Government’s school feeding programme is still struggling with foundational problems three years after it was inaugurated, as several schools are left our while the programme remain irregular in schools where it had started.

Based on findings, only pupils in primary one to three were being fed in schools benefiting from the programme. It was gathered that many schools in the rural and swampy areas were excluded from the programme because of the Federal Government officers’ inability to access them.

At the launch of the Home Grown School Feeding programme in 2016, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said the scheme was aimed at providing free school meals.

It is also aimed at “increasing school enrollment and completion” and “improving child nutrition and health.”

Investigations revealed that the crisis associated with the programme had not enabled it to achieve its aims. 413 schools left out in Enugu. Out of the 1,204 public primary schools in Enugu State, The PUNCH’s investigations showed that 413 were not benefiting from the programme.

One of our correspondents assessed the programme at the New Haven Primary Schools 1, 2,3 and 4; Construction Primary Schools 1 and 2; the Ekulu Primary School and the Independence Layout Primary School, all in the Enugu metropolis.

It was observed that only pupils in primary one to three were being fed, while those in nursery one to three were completely excluded from the programme. Only 49 pupils selected in Enugu school.

The correspondent noticed that in the New Haven Primary School 1, only 49 out of 96 pupils, who were in primary one to three, were being fed.

According to PUNCH’s research, the management of the programme had in October reduced the amount of money paid to each cook, as a result, only 49 pupils, in some cases 30 pupils, were selected from primary one to three, for feeding.

According to the menu obtained from one of the schools, the pupils are fed with yams and beans together with oranges on Monday. On Tuesday, they are given jollof rice and chicken with bananas. On Wednesday, they are fed with Okpa with watermelon. On Thursday, they eat fried potato and egg sauce as well as oranges, while on Friday, the pupils are given Igba Oka with akidi, vegetable and watermelon.

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