How ‘lockdown school feeding programme’ works, by manager
• Education ministry not part of the scheme, stop the fraud, Melaye, CSOs tell FG
• Feeding during a pandemic should be questioned, don insists
Programme Manager for the home grown school feeding in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mrs. Victoria Anieoghena, has said about 29,600 households will benefit from food items in Abuja, as part of government’s school feeding programme during the lockdown.
She said that the scheme tagged, “Lockdown School Feeding Programme,” was different from the 2019 school feeding programme, which was also initiated by the Federal Government.
“The difference is obvious. This very programme described as lockdown school feeding programme is special because food is not cooked for the school children except that the various households captured with their vouchers simply come forward to receive their items at designated primary schools, unlike the 2019 school feeding programme where food was cooked and served the pupils directly in their various schools.”
She said the distribution of food items to households under the supervision of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, was in line with the presidential directives, which ordered that palliatives be extended to the school children in their homes, especially during the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we speak, 62 wards in the FCT have been captured as household beneficiaries, we ensure that they come up to a designated primary school, show their vouchers and pick up their war lets containing the food items, which simply includes, 5kg bag of beans, 5kg bag of rice, salt, palm oil, groundnut oil, tin tomatoes and a crate of eggs,” she said.
Besides, the Ministry of Education has said the Minister, Adamu Adamu, has no role in the implementation of the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
Director of the press at the ministry, Ben Goong, who disclosed this in Abuja, said, “The ministry of education has nothing to do with the programme and that is the right position.”
In a similar vein, Senator Dino Melaye, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) and Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) said the modified home-grown school feeding programme being reintroduced even when the pupils are on forced holiday on account of the coronavirus pandemic was deceit and a monumental fraud.
Farouq had flagged-off the modified Homegrown School Feeding Program at Kuje Primary School in Abuja last week, saying she was working with state governments to ensure the programme succeded different states for 3.1 million households, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives.
But Melaye described the school feeding programme as a fraud, saying the children could not be fed spiritually, but physically and therefore the scheme should be stopped.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Guardian in Abuja, he said since the schools were closed, the pupils were at home they should know that there was no school feeding programme anywhere in the country.
Meanwhile, a professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ibadan, Oyesoji Aremu, has said the continuation of the home feeding programme during the coronavirus pandemic needed to be questioned.
Aremu disclosed this during an interview with The Guardian, saying, “Federal Government’s National Home Grown Feeding programme is one of the social policies of the Buhari administration. The school feeding policy is part of the N500b funded Social Investment Programme (SIP) aimed at reducing poverty.
“How is the policy made to work during the lockdown and schools closure? Are the children being fed at home when under the care of their parents and guardians? How do the vendors move about during lockdown in most parts of the country? Who assesses the supposed food quality? And who monitors the distribution? he queried.
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