The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has called on the Rivers government to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s home-grown school feeding programme.
Charles Ukoh, Team Leader, National Home Groom School Feeding Programme, stated this during the enumeration of primary school pupils at the State Primary School I, Borokiri, in Port Harcourt.
He said the enumeration enabled the ministry to collate the actual number of pupils, cooks and resolve challenges before upgrading the number of pupils and schools in the state.
Mr Ukoh, a director in the humanitarian affairs ministry, advised the heads of schools to notify the team when their schools were in session for the federal government to release the funds for the pupils’ feeding.
He stated that the programme’s objective was to provide the schoolchildren with nutritional food at the affirmative age, develop their brains, and stimulate their interest in education.
Mr Ukoh further explained that the team’s mission in the state was to get the total number of pupils currently on the data roll of the feeding programme.
“Currently, we have about 124,000 pupils in Rivers state, all in 963 schools and also 1,148 vendors, who cook for the school feeding programme,” he noted. “The federal government provides the funding, and the state government employs the cooks and manages the funds. The only challenge we will have is when we don’t get the thorough number of pupils from the creeks of Asari Toru and Akuku-Toru.”
Young Ayo-Tamuno, a director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Rivers, stated that the problem of out-of-school children in the state was disturbing, making the federal government want to curb it through the feeding scheme by removing the children off the streets.
Mr Ayo-Tamuno added that one of the objectives of the programme was also to increase school enrollment.
“What we are doing today is trying to get appropriate data. Those benefiting were pupils from primary one to three, they are about 124,000, and this is not good enough for us,” he said.