The Kaduna State Government on Monday observed that primary school pupils in the state have developed the habit of leaving school immediately after being served free meals.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Shehu Adamu, told newsmen in Kaduna that the pupils desert their schools under the guise of going to drink water.
DAILY POST recalls that the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufa’i, had on January 18, flagged-off the School Feeding Programme to provide free breakfast to pupils across the state.
The Commissioner stressed that the programme was introduced to encourage school enrolment, attendance and retention, adding that the government was disturbed by the situation.
While expressing concern over the desertion of schools by the pupils after taking the free meals, Adamu appealed to parents to ensure that children remain in school after taking their meals, so as not to jeopardise the programme.
Adamu said that parents must also ensure that no child returned home until closing hours, “otherwise the aim would be defeated.”
“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.
“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.”
On the delay in paying vendors supplying food under the programme, he said they had been directed to open account with Heritage Bank through which they would be getting their payments.
The Commissioner said the bank officials would screen and capture all the vendors in their respective local government areas.