Education

School pupils reject promotion to senior class due to school feeding programme

Education

The Programme Manager, National Homegrown School Feeding Scheme in Anambra State, Mrs Eriken Uzoamaka, Thursday, lamented that pupils across public primary schools in the state were rejecting promotion to senior classes.

Uzoamaka, who explained that the pupils in public primary schools class 3 usually kick against promotions to primary 4 due to the kinds of menu being served them while in classes 1 to 3 every school working days, noted that efforts were on ground to solve the challenge.

She disclosed this at Awka, the Anambra State capital, after the two-day capacity building workshop on Enhancing Social Protection Programme in Nigeria, organised by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), in Awka, the State capital.

“We serve rich food to pupils in classes 1 to 3 as captured in the national homegrown school feeding scheme. That is why even those that agree to be promoted, usually come to their junior class (primary 3) especially on Wednesdays to struggle for food with others. We serve beans and plantains (or with sweet potatoes) that day,” she noted.

Uzoamaka also listed other challenges facing the programme in Anambra State to include hike in prices of commodities and death of 10 cooks, which according to her has made it impossible for affected schools to benefit because new cooks were yet to be employed by the federal government.

“We are appealing to Anambra State government to support the programme by feeding pupils from primary 4 to six, and probably include feeding of preprimary school pupils to curb the challenges and increase more numbers of pupils in public schools,” she added.

“Since the inception of the programme in 2016, about 10 cooks have died and it is affecting the programme in some schools. It is only the national that can recruit and replace them, we have no right to replace them but we have written to inform the national body but they are yet to be replaced.

“Another challenge is the high cost of food items in the country, it is affecting the programme and the quality of food given to the children. The cooks are really complaining and the high cost of food items is making it difficult for them to give us adequate meal per child. This development has made the Federal Government agree to increase the meal price from N70 to N100, but it is yet to be implemented, ” she said.

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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