The Kaduna State Government on Thursday met with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to work out partnership arrangements for a smooth implementation of its school feeding programme.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Andrew Nok, who declared the meeting open, said that the programme would resume “in no distant time.”
Nok explained that the programme, which held in the state, from January to August in 2016 could not continue due to some challenges, adding that the issues are being address.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Adamu Mansur, the commissioner said that the meeting provides an avenue for relevant stakeholders to make inputs to ensure the success of the programme.
Also speaking, the Director of Higher Education in the ministry, Mr John Gora, said that partnership with the CSOs and NGOs was crucial to the success of the programme, particularly in the area of monitoring and evaluation.
“The CSOs and NGOs would play a crucial role in effective monitoring of the implementation of the programme throughout the state. Similarly, there is concern from stakeholders on the need for the programme to cover the first 1000 days of a child in the school.
“The argument is that, once the child missed the nutrients required in his first 1000 days – the crucial stage in the development of the brain – there would be serious health, social and economic consequences,” he said.
Gora said that 16,000 vendors would participate in the programme in the state, adding that 13,670 have been captured and BVN verified.
On her part, the Programme Manager for National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Ms Abimbola Adesanmi, said that based on the arrangement, the Federal Government would take care of Primary 1-3 pupils, while the state government would take care of Primary 4-6.
According to her, the meeting provides avenue to synchronize all interventions for the smooth take-off of the programme. “We are in Kaduna State to learn from its experience, and lesson learnt being a pioneer of the national school feeding programme.
“We equally want to see how the federal government as well as relevant CSOs and NGOs can support the process with expertise for successful implementation.”
On the first 1000 days of the child, Adesanmi urged state governments to design an empowerment package for women to effectively feed the child.
Some of the CSOs and NGOs at the meeting include Mac Arthur Foundation, Human Development Initiative, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All and Partnership for Child Development.