The Federal Government has expressed dismay over infrastructural deficit in some public primary schools in Niger State, while calling on the state government, in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to urgently close the gap and address the deficit in order to enhance effective teaching and learning.
The special assistant to the President on National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Mrs Titi Adeyemi Doro, made the observation on Tuesday at Korokpa Nursery and Primary School, in Paikoro Local Government Area of the state during a ‘learning visit,’ in conjunction with representatives of other states who were on tour of schools benefiting from the programme.
The team consisted of participants selected from six states of the federation which are Kaduna, Benue, Bauchi, Ogun, Anambra and Akwa Ibom states.
Doro observed that infrastructure in some of the schools visited were not good enough for effective teaching and learning, stressing that the infrastructure was either inadequate or craving for urgent attention.
She, therefore, called on the state government and the SUBEB to do more with regards to the provision of tables and chairs in public primary schools to avoid a situation whereby pupils would be sitting on the floor in their classes.
Doro disclosed that several billions of naira has been given to Niger State in the last two years to feed school children, noting that “with the last payment, we paid N70 per pupil for the feeding of over 600,000 pupils and Niger State has been on the programme for over two years now. So, we have spent several billions of naira on the school feeding programme consecutively for at least two years.”
She, however, commended the state government for doing well with regards to the programme and for linking farmers directly to cooks, saying that “the state has a remarkable procurement chain,” and for linking farmers directly to cooks.
The special adviser thereby described the National Home Grown School Feeding programme as a family programme, starting from the fathers to the mothers and the children.
Speaking to Nigerian Tribune, the head teacher, Korokpa Nursery and Primary School, Mrs Aisha Garba, said that the school feeding programme had increased the enrollment figures in schools in the area.
“Children are eager to resume school earlier than before because they know that they will be given food and it has also increased their retention capacity,” she said.
One of the benefiting pupils, Zainba Dauda, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing food for her and her mates.
“I want to thank President Buhari for giving us food to eat; we are very happy and we will continue with our studies,” she remarked.