Lagos Mulls Free Meals for Pupils in Public Schools

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Segun James

The Lagos State Government at the weekend said it had concluded a five-day pilot school-feeding programme with a view to determining the possibility of implementing the programme in 1016 public primary schools statewide.

The state government, also, revealed that at least 11,836 pupils from 33 public primary schools in Lagos Island Government were fed during the pilot school feeding initiative tagged ‘Snacks for Thought.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Mrs. Aderemi Adebowale gave the figure after concluding the pilot scheme on Friday, noting that the initiative was designed “to improve leaning and health status of pupils in the state’s public schools.”

The state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had unveiled the weeklong pilot scheme to assist pupils improve their academic performance and boost school enrolment in the state.

Implemented through the office of Civic Engagement, the initiative was targeted at motivating pupils to stay in class; learn with filled bellies; concentrate on their learning and avoid engaging in illicit acts.

After concluding the pilot scheme on Friday, the special adviser said decision to embark on this pilot initiative was taken to assist parents that might not consider importance of balance diet for their children, making them go to school without been properly fed.

“It is expected that when children learn with filled bellies, they will have more motivation to concentrate, stay in class and want to do more with their lives than fraud,” the special adviser said.

Adebowale said the programme “will definitely have a multiplier effects on the Sanwo-Olu administration’s THEME agenda. It will promote access to quality education, which will eventually bring about generation of citizen that will uphold societal value and sustain the growth of Lagos State and Nigeria at large.”

She, however, expressed the state government profound appreciation “to all the volunteers who contributed to the success of the pilot scheme. From the foregoing you can all see that the program id actually worth the effort you all put into it.”

Also, at the pilot scheme, the Commissioner for Education in Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo commended the initiative and noted that it will have multiplier benefits in area of education, health, agriculture and nutrition.

Folashade, who was represented by Dr. Idowu Oyetola, called on stakeholders to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation so that the program would not only promote learning but also sustained.

He, therefore, urged parents and guardians to ensure that their children are always in school to avail them quality education and a balance meal that will keep them going.

“Good nutrition is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Never again will our children suffer from nutrition deficiency in Lagos State,” the commissioner explained.

Appreciating the gesture, Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government Area, Mr. Adetoyeshe Olusi noted that choosing Lagos Island for pilot scheme was a thing of joy.

He urged Sanwo-Olu and other executive members “to fully implement the scheme as it excites both the pupils and their parents. We say a very big thank you to the governor and the special adviser for this laudable initiative, we will forever grateful.”