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Kaduna State to reintroduce free feeding in schools – Commissioner

Kaduna State will soon commence the abandoned free feeding programme for primary pupils and junior secondary school students earlier introduced in the state.

Aready the state government on Thursday met with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non Governmental Organisation (NGOs) to work out partnership arrangements for smooth implementation of the school feeding programme.

The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Andrew Nok, who declared the meeting open, said that the programme would resume in no distant time.

Nok explained that the programme which held in the state from January to August in 2016 could not continue due to some challenges, adding that the issues were being addressed.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Adamu Mansur, the commissioner said that the meeting provided avenue for relevant stakeholders to make inputs to ensure the success of the programme.

Also speaking, the Director of Higher Education in the ministry, Mr John Gora, said that partnership with the CSOs and NGOs was crucial to the success of the programme, particularly in the area of monitoring and evaluation.

“The CSOs and NGOs will play a crucial role in effective monitoring of the implementation of the programme throughout the state.

“Similarly, there is concern from stakeholders on the need for the programme to cover the first 1000 days of a child.

“The argument is that, once the child missed the nutrients required in his first 1000 days, the crucial stage in the development of the brain, there would be serious health, social and economic consequences,” he said.

Gora said that 16,000 vendors would participate in the programme in the state, adding that 13,670 have been captured and BVN verified.

On her part, Ms Abimbola Adesanmi, the Programme Manager, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, said that based on the arrangement, the federal government would take care of primary one to three pupils while the state government would take care of primary four to six.

According to her, the meeting would provide an avenue to synchronize all interventions for the smooth take off of the programme.

“We are in Kaduna State to learn from its experience and lesson learnt being a pioneer state of the national school feeding programme.

“We equally want to see how the federal government as well as relevant CSOs and NGOs can support the process with expertise for successful implementation,” she explained.

On the first 1000 days of the child, Adesanmi urged state governments to design empowerment package for women to effectively feed the child.

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