The government of Kaduna State expressed concern yesterday over the fact that pupils abandon schools after eating free meals made available to them by the government. The pupils leave school as soon as they are done with the free food under the guise of going to drink water.
Shehu Adamu, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in the state, who told journalists in Kaduna that the circumstance was a source of discomfort to the state government, also made a heartfelt request for the parents of these pupils to see to it that their children stay in school after having their meals by encouraging them not to go back home until after school has closed for the day.
Emphasizing that the main purpose for the introduction of the free meal program by the state government was to encourage school enrollment, attendance and retention, Shehu Adamu pointed out that:
“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.”
Speaking on the reason for the delay in payment of vendors supplying food under the programme, he said they had been issued a directive to open an account with Heritage Bank through which they would be receiving their payments.
Mr. Adamu also conveyed the information that all the vendors would be screened and captured in their different local government areas by officials of the bank.