Garba Ahmed, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government is to spend N2.25 billion on annual feeding of secondary school students in the state.
A statement issued by Professor Jonathan Andrew Nok, the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology indicated that each student in boarding Secondary School in the state will now be fed at a cost of N300 per day.
According to the Commissioner, this follows approval by the Kaduna State Executive Council that the allocation per student be increased from N180 to N300 per day.
“This will cost the government N2.25 billion every school year to feed 27,501 students,” he explained.
The commissioner further disclosed that government took the decision to increase the feeding allocation after noting the hike in the prices of foodstuff across the country.
He said a market survey conducted by the Kaduna State Bureau of Statistics between June and September 2016 revealed that there has been a 30% to 40% increase in the prices of food stuff.
He said this is the second upward review of the feeding allocation this year adding that in January 2016, the state government, in trying to improve the quality of meals given to students in the state boarding schools, had approved N60 per meal as against the N44 per meal that was budgeted in the past.
“This N60 per meal was piloted in six schools, whose feeding was outsourced to private caterers. Following the significant improvement in the quality of the meals, the scheme will now be applied to all the 31 boarding schools owned by the state government. This decision means that each student will be fed at N100 per meal, up from the previous N60,” the commissioner said.
Prof. Nok said that “the goal is to ensure that students get the adequate nutrition they need to boost their intellectual capability, stimulate healthy growth and ensure they get a well-rounded education.”
Feeding for students in the Junior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State is free, in line with the nine-year free education policy of the present administration. But the Senior Secondary Schools are not yet fully free. Parents and the State Government share the cost of feeding.
•Photo shows Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.