4th July, 2021
By Bosede Olufunmi/Kano
Federal Government’s school feeding programme has almost doubled pupil population in primary 1-3 from 1.2 million to 2.1 million in Kano state.
Education commissioner Muhammad Salisu-Kiru disclosed this at the third stakeholders’ meeting with the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) 2021 held at the ministry on Saturday, in Kano.
“Before, Kano had 1.2 million primary 1-3 pupils, but during our last annual school census the figure had increased to 2.1 million.
“I decided to constitute a committee to ensure that the new figure is validated and accepted by the Federal Government.
“The ministry has already sent delegates, including a consultant, on a validation of the new data to be submitted to the Federal Government”, he said.
Kiru further explained that all the relevant stakeholders, including education secretary across the 44 local governments, Chairman, Community Promotion committee, Chairman SUBEB, among others, were involved in the conduct of the exercise.
He added that National Orientation Agency(NOA), National Population Commission, National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), UBEC and State Education boards for effective results would be involved in the next census exercise.
“I am very sure that after the exercise is conducted, Kano would have more the 2.1 million pupils, since it is a free and compulsory education.
“I know children are rational when they hear of the school feeding they would love to go to school and learn.
“Kano state has benefited a lot from the Federal Government and every month about N1.5 billion is allocated to the school feeding programme”, he said.
The Commissioner also said that the number of vendors, who cooked for the pupils in schools, increased from 9,511 to 12,258, due to increase in the number of children in the schools.
He said that they were being paid regularly and a monitoring team went round the primary schools in all the 44 local government areas to ensure that each vendor cooked the food on time.
In the same vein, the programme’s focal person, Baba Aminu-Zubairu, disclosed that Kano has the highest number of pupils under the feeding programme, in spite of its suspension last year, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.
“All the relevant stakeholders involved should ensure they sensitise parents who take their wards to help them on the farm to take their education seriously”, he said