How Kaduna’s school feeding programme helps the poor, returns kids to schools

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Parents in Kaduna have been reacting to the free school feeding recently introduced by the state government.

The feeding program for primary school pupils in the state was launched on January 19 by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

A cobbler, Kabiru Abu, said the free feeding program for primary school children has taken off the burden of providing school meal for his three children.

Mr. Abu, who works at the popular Sati market, Badarawa area of Kaduna, said his three children attend LGEA primary school in Badarawa.

“Let me tell you that this feeding program is not for the children only, it is also for us who are parents in the state,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

“I’m a cobbler who barely makes between 1000 and 1500 naira a day and I have three school children.

“Before now they will come to me every day in the market to collect money for break during school hours.

“Sometimes I do borrow to give them N20 each, but now that has been taking care of by the state government through the school feeding program.”

Mr. Abu also spoke of his children’s joy for the program.

“For me, it is like taking care of one big responsibility for five days. Every morning they do not wait for their mother to give them food anymore because they know that at 10 a.m. they will be fed in the school.

“One amazing thing that is happening now is how the children are getting more committed to learning. Any time I return home from the market, they are always in a rush to show me something they learnt from school which has never been so.

“Apart from taking off the burden of breakfast for me, my wife no longer wakes up in a rush every morning to prepare something for the children to eat or drink before they leave for school,” he said.

When asked if the government also provides school uniform and books for his children, he said, “Not yet but I have trust in this government and I am sure they will soon do that.”

“You can see that virtually all the schools in Kaduna are witnessing massive transformation. More classroom blocks are being built and renovations is taking place all over the state and the feeding of course, books is not going to be a problem, I am sure about that.

One of Mr. Abu’s wards said he is happy he does not need to go to his father’s work place to get money to buy food in school anymore.

“We do not come to Baba again because we eat well in the school and we are happy about that. They serve us with rice and beans, moi-moi, yam and egg,” the primary four pupil said.

Another parent, Zainab Sani, said she does not believe any program could benefit the poor in Kaduna better than the feeding program.

“This program came at the right time,” the widow, who resides in Kakuri area of Kaduna, said.

“I have two children who are all in primary two and my problem has always been how to provide feeding at break time.

“I am a tailor and have been struggling to provide for my orphans. My two children, Hafsat and Balki, will always return home during classes to say its break time that they need food. Sometimes they will not return to school that day again.”

She said the situation has changed since the Kaduna government began the feeding program.

“They are always in school now and will only return during closing time. It is a great initiative by the government,” she said.

Another mother, Rebecca Bitrus, shed tears while speaking about the program. Her only child, Usman, who attends LGEA school on Aliyu Makama road, Barnawa, has been returning home happy since the program began; talking about the food they are given in school.

“And for me I have no reason to worry for what to give him every morning to take to school again,” she said.

The free feeding program also seems to be achieving one of its aims of returning out of school children to schools. Nigeria has over 10 million out of school children, the largest in the world, according to the United Nations; with many of them in Northern Nigeria including Kaduna.

While speaking on the increased enrolment since the program began, a teacher said it was already leading to over congestion of schools.

Adama Mohammed, the headmistress of one of the benefitting public primary schools, said the feeding program was a success so far but the state government needed to hasten the renovation and building of new classroom blocks to reduce the number of children in the classes.

“With the increased enrolment , student population in some classes doubled and feeding in such over-populated classes could be unhygienic,” she told PREMIUM TIMES

While launching the programme in January, Governor El-Rufai said the programme would feed1.5 million pupils in the state’s public primary schools

“We are conscious that it would save parents break-time money, empower the women within the community who have been selected as the catering vendors and expand the market for farm products”.

He also said that the school feeding programme is directly creating 17,000 jobs for catering vendors, each of whom will need to employ workers to help them deliver.

“In seeking to take care of our children, we are creating jobs, boosting demand and exposing our people to new skills and hygiene standards and providing extra income.

Also responding to the issue of renovating the schools and building more classrooms blocks the governor said, “We inherited a baleful legacy of dilapidated schools, inadequate classrooms, and no furniture for 50 per cent of the pupils. The schools also often lacked water and toilet facilities.

“It is a massive commitment to fix the more than 4000 public primary schools in the state and transform them into conducive places for the delivery of quality education. We will strive to complete the rehabilitation within our term of office.”

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  • AWOOF OIL MONEY

    YEYE APC PROPAGANDA–TEACH THEM HOW TO FISH AND NOT HOW TO EAT AWOOF FISH FROM THE NIGER DELTA OIL REVENUE BASE

    • bib

      Can you teach a person how to fish on empty stomachs? You can continue to deceive yourself Mr ignoramus. It was oil money before, now it’s fish because oil is fast becoming an insignificant contributor to the GDP. But these are what the children are being fed with in Kaduna State schools, rice, moi moi, beans, yams and eggs non of which is adequately produced in the Niger delta. And if it’s decided to use fish, if you know your economic geography of Nigeria well, you know it can be supplied by the north.

      • Onike24

        Just ignore it! I don’t know how these ” things” think, they have sawdust and water between their ears.

      • Otile

        Don’t preach to us one of your fake unities. Whatever the price of oil may be, if you leave our oil for us we will use it to buy abundant food anywhere in the world. You suck_our oil, oppress us and talk trash about the very oil feeding Nigeria. Odale

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Otile in another name losers

      • Otile

        Name calling is not the answer. Go ahead and feed your children you produced with your own dicks. Oya

  • bib

    Great job. Keep it up!

    • Otile

      Great job that people produce children and the federal money is used to feed them. Where is the responsibility of their parents in all these?

      • bib

        Obvious. You can’t understand. But the “federal money” is meant for governing the people, i.e. serve them. NeR is doing that admirably. Go and ensure your governors serve your people.

        • Otile

          My people are not begging food. Shame on you for defending the indolence of your Fulani masters. Omo odua why not stand in line with them to beg food? Are you our Odua brothers begging food like them? Yeah, good feeding centers my foot.

          • bib

            Yes that is why NeR is killing many birds with a single stone.
            1. Feed the children. It’s their right to be fed by a serious government.
            2. Get them to schools and keep them their with the right incentives. Signpost of a responsible government.
            3. Reduce unemployment by employing the food vendors and spread affluence by patronizing food material sellers. An indicator of a sensitive government.
            4. Etc.
            Why don’t you encourage your governments to serve you? That way your people’s population may reduce in the international gulags and redlight districts. And the world shall heave a sigh of relief from your people’s criminal mischiefs.

          • Otile

            Omo Odua, your plan is a recipe for disaster. Yeah, cook pots and pots of food, serve and feed them fat, then they run home to sleep and sore. What a way of building a prosperous society!

            Whose people indulge in criminal mischief more than your Yoruba tribesmen? Oyenusi was Yoruba, looter Fashola is Yoruba, Bode George is Yoruba, Deimeji Bank-ole is Yoruba. Halliburton scandal is centered around Yoruba leadership. What are you trying to tell me? Hypocrite

      • e_orpheus

        The parents are hard pressed and simply can’t keep up with the pressure.
        They slave, and yet their kids are still starving and become reluctant to go to school.
        Under the circumstances what would you propose?

        • Otile

          How about my people who survived genocide and were robbed of their possessions? Do we therefore depend on anyone to babysit us, send us to school and feed us? When you say they are working hard, what are they doing, beheading people and bombing schools and churches? They are busy doing nothing useful.

          • e_orpheus

            You failed to mention your own proposal.
            I hope you find time to interact with ‘everyday people’ and perhaps you would learn what exactly it is they are doing and better appreciate what life is like for others outside your immediate circles.
            This is kaduna state; I hope you are aware that the federal government is finalising plans to do same around the country. Be patient, if ‘your people’ and ‘your governor’ do not think it priority, the FG does and given the realities of life in different economic strata in Nigeria I am inclined to see reason with them.

          • Otile

            God, save Thy people from evil. What you are proposing will cause total paralysis in the Republic. You see, once implemented yara will come in to feed and head back home and learn nothing. Is that what you want?

          • e_orpheus

            Scenario 1: If there is food in school, they will be encouraged to go there and will study and learn as evidenced by the case studies in the report.
            Scenario 2: If there is food in school, even if they leave immediately after eating at least they would have gotten sustenance for a good number of hours of the day.
            Scenario 3: If there is no food, they will not go to school and so will be both malnourished as well as learn nothing.

      • Peter_Edo

        you are a very very useless and retarded person. chei i pity your entire generation. where is your brain, can’t you think.

        • Otile

          What is your point? Can these people feed their yara, yes or no?

  • Otile

    This is terrible. I did not know that these people can’t feed themselves. No wonder they will always go to war to prevent Biafra from leaving. Let these children feed fat on our oil but stop biting the fingers that feed them. Yara, sunji ko?

    • Alaba

      You need psychiatric doctor.

      • Otile

        Those who can’t feed their own children are the ones that need psychiatric doctor. That’s no brainer.

    • Nigeriamovingforward

      Wow, your level of ignorance is astonishing, keep it up and your children will be proud.

      • Otile

        Ignorant about what? Can these people feed their children?

        • Hans Oreva

          you are a useless idi*t! do your father own any oil field? or do you have land where oil is being drilled? please go back to cameroon where you and your us*less family came from! anofia!! enemy of progress! wooooo!

          • Otile

            Yes, oil is mined in my father’s land. Can you say so and swear to God about your father? Even in Cameroon there is oil and the Cameroonians are responsible people. All that you and your Fulani masters do in Nigeria is to make babies and leave the responsibility of feeding to the Federal government. Show me the kind of progress you and your Fulani masters are making in the North now. Odale

          • Hans Oreva

            Yes you can claim nigeria as your fatherland, but do any of your father’s personal land have oil igboman? Why don’t you move to Cameroon where you come from and go suffer under a confirmed dictator paul biya who has being president since 1982… Nigeria is too civilized for nonetities like you… us*less she goat

          • Otile

            Your rogues stole my father’s oil in the name of oil blocks. Give me back my oil and move back to Dehomey where your ancestors came from. Odale.

    • Trendy

      I don’t know of any biafra producing oil! is niger delta biafra now?

      • Otile

        If you should benefit from our oil and deny it may you meet misfortune all your life. Amen.

    • Usman

      It baffles me when an Igbo makes such noises after all you have done in destroying our image all over the world, drugs, Internet fraud, ATM fraud etc, quickly follow your brothers to Italy

      • Otile

        Mutallab the underwear bomber who fatally destroyed Nigeria’s image is Fulani. The Islamic London butcher who hacked the English man to death is Yoruba. Those Nigerian Islamic women who were stoned in Saudia Arabia were Fulani and Yoruba druggists and whores. The son of Nigerian ambassador who raped a young lady badly in the United States is Yoruba. Crime is not particular to Yoruba, Fulani or any other tribe. There are criminals in every society. So it is dishonest of you to point to Igbo alone exonerating your own tribesmen and women who are neck-deep in crime.

        By the way, this article is about your people’s inability to feed your own children, not about Igbo. Hypocrite.

  • Truthometer

    Who let the dog out?

  • Issei

    A very good policy,l,hope this programme will not affect other developmental programmed,
    Of the govt,because the amount of money involved is close to 2bn naira every month,

    • awoooof no get bone

      why would it not be a good policy for the almajaris who are not even Nigerians–drawn from Chad and Niger Republic-where Buhari hails from-why dont we have such in the South—thieves–Lovers of awoooooooooooof oil money–Yesterday u said Awos free education was wrong now u give free food–from a stolen awoof revenue base—-beeeeer and guuuuuuuulder VAT money

      • Issei

        Cee you.Education is right not a privilege,supporting every child to get
        Is better than stealing the money,as was the case
        Before now

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        Loosers never see any good in others success

      • Usman

        Looser, go drink your oil or hug a transformer

  • COL HASSAN KILL ALL IJAWS

    Of the two main candidates that stood for last year’s election, I thought Buhari was the better man. I believe the description by Time Magazine of Goodluck Jonathan’s time in office was pretty accurate. But If I think back to 2011, then I believed GEJ was the right man; we were proved wrong. Buhari still has time to prove us right, but he can’t do that by changing back into military fatigues.”

    • Buhari4Ever

      Deri Orbuka, you should be ashame that your Bayelsa State with a hefty budget and 13% derivation could not do what El Rufai is doing in Kaduna State. I bet you will clap for Dickson if all the state budget is looted because he is a Ijaw man like you. There is nothing right about GEJ. Just a total waste of time and resources

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    Why bore us with this kind of watery story? Whether the kids go to school or not, whether they pass their Secondary school exams or not, Whether they fail Mathematics with horrible score as low as 3/100 marks or not as Mr Buhari did in 1961, they stand a change of becoming President in a country like Nigeria where the standard requirement for a Security Job for gate keepers is 5 Credit passes at Secondary school final exams but ironically a Primary school Certificate (Just evidence of attendance, not passing) is the standard minimum for Presidency of a country with 185m people, with over 265 Universities and 55 Polytechnics. What a shame!….All because we must accommodate certain Nigerians from the Magreb. Nigeria is not a country. In central African Republic, as small as that country is, the main Presidential aspirants in the current elections are a Professor of Mathematics and an Economist. Well read, smart and sharp men in their 50s. But in Nigeria anyone can become president, illiterate or dunce. Sluggish or incoherent. Are we cursed?

    • Usman

      The smart Ijaw with a PhD was as naive as a primary pupil in the North, go hug a transformer or migrate to Italy via Libya as your parents did

    • Otile

      Tell them, bro. They think we don’t know.

  • tundemash

    What u are not telling us is that these Children from the North have a cut off mark considerably lower than their colleagues from the South, East and West of Nigeria when applying for UNITY schools run by the Federal government. While the benchmark for admission is 237 in places like Edo, Delta, Oyo and Enugu states, it is just 2 (Two) marks for Northern states like Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Niger and Bauchi…..INTERESTINGLY, 3 of those Northern states have produces 7 Presidents of the “Federal” Republic of Nigeria. —-No wonder Nigeria is like this.

    • Usman

      Hug a transformer

      • Otile

        Show him by example.

    • Henry_Itopa

      You do understand they are talking about primary school children? And also you understand this article is about school feeding and not cut off marks?

      Clearly with your level of comprehension you would not have been able to make any cutoff mark wherever you might be from.

      • Otile

        He is more intelligent than you. There is no doubt about that. Face reality.

    • ’70

      “3 of those Northern states have produces 7 Presidents of the “Federal” Republic of Nigeria”
      That tells us the level of your education.
      One good thing about this story is that the Kaduna State has realized its short-comings and is making amends to catch up, while the others go to sleep like the proverbial hare in the race with the tortoise…

    • Otile

      Abubakar tundemash, believe it or not you are my friend. When you are not agitated you make good sense. You and I may quarrel but I still like you. Many times you strike the nail at the head. You have a good night in Ingila.

  • MushinSpeaks

    Can we tell the doubting Thomas how serious and concern the APC government is in rolling out the CHANGE mantra? Free education and feeding; tell me how and why the North wont be at the same pace with the west. This is the CHANGE in place.

  • blow fissh

    “I’m a cobbler who barely makes between 1000 and 1500 naira a day and I have three school children.

    “Before now they will come to me every day in the market to collect money for break during school hours.

    “Sometimes I do borrow to give them N20 each, but now that has been taking care of by the state government through the school feeding program.”

    HALLOoooo. Will someone tell the cobbler and his kind to stop fuccin.

    • Sparzo

      You fascist. So poor people/ catholics have no right to reproduce as they like.
      Israel was secretly sterilising Ethiopian Jews in tel aviv, not long ago.
      Should Nigeria take a leaf?
      Obviously you are not poor nor did you ever have to go to school hungary nor have ever had anything to bringing up children or educating them.

      • Otile

        Again, name calling is not the solution. You can call him fascist, anything, even a suicide bomber, but the question is – do the children stay back to learn after the meal is over? You know very well that the answer is no.

        • Sparzo

          Fascism is a political believe, like socialism.
          It is not name calling, you ignorant biafran.

          So children in biafra go home after eating at school, and their parents are glad to see them home.
          Their teachers too go home and everybody is happy?

          Any way, @blowfissh:disqus thinks poor people should not be allowed to have many kids.
          Poor people have many kids because only a few of their kids survive to adult hood,
          to maybe look after them in their old age.
          How about poor catholics? Should they abandon their religious teachings and abort or stop F……?

  • Freedom Bini

    Will this feeding help? No. I was recently in Soba Local Government along Jos Road,kaduna. Primary school Pupils went to School when the sighted the food van heading for the school. After receiving the free meal all children went back home and that was the end of the school that day.No amount of feeding you will give that will keep these Children in School. Boko Haram is in the Blood of the Poor in the North.

    • Sparzo

      At least they got fed. And you are a liar about Soba.

      • Otile

        Yes, the got fed, quickly went back home, and forgot their lives.

        • Sparzo

          I see, you were in soba with your good mate @freedombini:disqus,
          I guess making up our tribal hate stories.
          The children ”quickly went home” To do wha? Chores?
          And their Teachers and parents? Quickly went back home with them?
          See how ridiculous and laughable that is?

          Anyway look at it this way.
          In a country where over 80% have to survive on less than $2 a day,
          school meals are not only a welcome and one less worry for the parents,
          but are crucial for the physical, mental,psychological and social development of the children.

    • Otile

      Please my brother don’t say it loud lest lazy parasites and their
      supporters come to mob you. You see, it is foolish_to be wise where
      ignorance is bliss.

  • Spyman29

    Where are the doom seers who said this program will not succeed. This is the way it will succeed at the Federal level when it eventually kick off

    • Otile

      Please and please, don’t extend this kind of parasitism to the federal level. It will be a tragedy when the whole of Nigeria can’t feed their children anymore. Deliver us from all evil, O Lord.