John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna State government has concluded plans to spend N2.25 billion on the feeding of students in boarding secondary schools next year.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Jonathan Nok, who disclosed this in a statement, said the State Executive Council gave the approval after reviewing the feeding system in boarding schools in the state.
He said as from next year, N300 would be spent on the feeding of a student per day as against the N180 per student per day, adding that this would be the second upward review of the feeding allocation this year.
“This will cost the government N2.25bn every school year to feed 27,501 students. The government took the decision to increase the feeding allocation after noting the hike in the prices of foodstuffs across the country.”
He explained that a market survey which was conducted by the State Bureau of Statistics between June and September 2016 revealed that there has been a 30 to 40 per cent increase in the prices of foodstuffs.
Nok said in January 2016, the state government in trying to improve the quality of meals given to students in 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 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.”
He added that feeding for students in junior secondary schools in the 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.”