The Lagos State Government on Monday disclosed that the current administration has earmarked N11bn for its Snacks for Thought programme.
Snacks for Thought is a programme to complement the homegrown school feeding programme of the federal government that covers only pupils in primary 1-3.
The Snacks for Thought feeding Programme is expected to take care of the pupils at the crèche and primary 4-6 level so as to ensure that all pupils partake in the school feeding programme in Lagos State when the programme is eventually adopted by the State Government.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale made the disclosure during the ongoing ministerial press briefing to mark the second year of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration in office.
She added that the programme would cost the government 11bn, saying “we are going to partner on this. We already have volunteers that would work with us, over 400 volunteers are to partake.”
Adebowale stated that multiple Indices Indicators published by UNICEF in 2018, showed an estimated 229,264 pupils were out of school in Lagos State.
“In order to curb this rising numbers, we need more than statutory allocations. Interventions such as these will not only increase the rate of enrollment but will impact positively on gender parity and equality while also serving as a preventive security measure in reducing crime and hooliganism that may later on disrupt the socio-economic life of the State.
“It is also a preparedness preventive security programme that is far more than snacks-giving. It is an investment of the administration of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in the common future and stability of Lagos State and an important step in building a thriving 21st century Lagos, where her citizens are not only safe but productive and also understand their Civic Rights and Responsibilities.
“Snacks-For-Thought deals with children’s physical and cognitive development by focusing on enhancing their learning experience, which primarily starts with the child mental disposition,” she said.
According to Adebowale, the school feeding programme also had the tendency to serve as the socio-economic blueprint of government and that in the long run, prevent this generation from bequeathing a sustainable development legacy to the next generation as it does this by keeping students in school.
“When children stay in school and learn, they not only take charge of their own learning experience but also stand a greater chance of making something out of their lives while also becoming productive citizens capable of contributing to the development of the State as their formative years has been positively ensured. There are additional dimensions to the project other than just snacks giving such as food and nutritional security, safety and human development.
“Snacks-For-Thought deals with children’s physical and cognitive development by focusing on enhancing their learning experience, which primarily starts with the child’s mental disposition,” she stated.
She added, “The Sanwo-Olu administration, in order to accelerate our children access to world-class educational learning, has aggressively embarked on the provision of blocks of classrooms, administrative offices, school furniture, modern toilet facilities, security in our schools and has continue to build teachers capacity with a high level of motivation for the teachers. These activities are to complement the womb to school initiative and ensure the public learn other conducive environment.”