The Kaduna State Government has threatened to deal decisively with Education Secretaries who extort or interfere with the ongoing School Feeding Programme.
The state Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Mohammed, said issued the threat on Tuesday at the opening of a one-day summit tagged “Building a grassroots movement on the Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Kaduna State”.
The event was organised by a Kaduna-based NGO, Connecting Gender for Development at the Catholic Centre, Kaduna.
Mohammed particularly cautioned education secretaries at the various local government councils to desist from luring especially vendors to extort monies given them to carry out their responsibility of providing quality food to the pupils.
He said: “I want to assure you that the State Government through my Ministry, is monitoring closely and anyone found wanting would be dealt with appropriately.”
Earlier, Sewuese Isaiah, COGEN’S Board Chairman, said the meeting was to chart a path for a grassroots movement that will ensure that communities track implementation of government’s projects especially on the HGSFP in Kaduna state.
Isaiah further disclosed that COGEN recognised few individuals for their outstanding performance working on delivery of the school feeding programme in COGEN’s three local government areas as well as their support for field staff in tracking of delivery.
She said: “We appreciate the support of the Kaduna State Ministry of Education, Chairman of SUPEB and the State HGSFP Technical Working Committee for providing enabling environment for our tracking the school feeding programme.”
In a key note address, Titus Mann, the Board Vice Chairman of COGEN, advised State Governments to scale up the school feeding programme in their respective states to include pupils of primary 4-6.
Mann said the need for the scale up was necessary considering the fact that the current programme was only restricted to cover pupils of primary 1-3.
He said: “Only pupils in primary 1-3 are covered. Children in Kindergarten are not covered.
“States are supposed to scale up the programme to include pupils in class 4-6. No State is known to have scaled up the programme.”
Mann, who is a Legal Practitioner, expressed the optimism that while government intervened in tackling some of its challenges, local communities and stakeholders should also monitor the performance of the programme at the grassroots for timely and reliable feedback.
Malam Daudu Musa, the Programme Manager for HGSFP, in a presentation on “The Journey so far,” said currently the Kaduna state government gets allocation of about N1.5 billion as one tranches of payment for 20 days feeding of over one million benefiting pupils across the state.
NAN reports that the event witnessed presentation of meritorious award to School Head Teachers, Vendors and School-based Management Committees as well as other stakeholders for their active involvement in the support and monitoring of the programme.