Parents query implementation of school feeding programme

Cooks dishing food at one of the schools where the school feeding programme is operational

The National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria has challenged the Federal Government on the implementation of the feeding of pupils under the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme during the period of lockdown.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, a copy of which was made available to, through Dr Precious Ekundayo, the National Public Relations Officer of the association, it wanted a review or cancellation of the programme.

The association said after keen observation of the implementation of the feeding programme in Abuja, it felt a review or cancellation was necessary.

The letter read, “It is unfortunate that parents were not involved in the policymaking as well as the implementation, hence the lapses experienced. This is not even the issue but the recent announcement made by the Federal Government through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs that the Federal Government would begin to feed our children during the lockdown.

“It is now expedient for us as good parents to react to the Federal Government’s gesture, especially in times like this when many parents are not working and finding it difficult to make ends meet. We are grateful and appreciate the efforts of the Federal Government to ameliorate the burden of parents.”

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“But as good as the policy is, the parents body has keenly observed the implementation at Abuja today inviting some people called parents or guardians of the pupils but our investigations proved otherwise and this called for implementation reviewed or total cancellation if our primary objective is to be achieved.

“Every of our schools nationwide has a PTA including Abuja where they distributed palliative materials today to so-called parents that PTA members could not identify. There is no way parents’ body and teachers can be excluded to have a desired results if not to create rooms for corruption.”

NAPTAN also said even before the lockdown, not all schools in the states where feeding programme was being implemented were benefiting from the initiative.

The group then demanded details of the programme or else, it would direct parents and children to reject the food.

“Before the lockdown in Oyo State where the Federal Government home grown school feeding was in place, not all the pupils and school were beneficiaries.

“For clarification, Community Basic Primary School, Baale Oba, Oke Awon in Surulere Local Government in Oyo State had never benefited from the programme, while the nearby schools and pupils within the same vicinity enjoyed it.

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“It means not all parents in the same village but have children in different government schools will benefit from this programme or what are the modalities employed to achieve this without the parents’ body? What is good for the geese is good for the gander.

“Finally honourable minister, this letter is being written based on the information gathered on the pages of newspapers since we are not informed about the modus operandi.”

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