The Kaduna State Government has expressed concern over the desertion of schools by pupils after taking the free meal.
The state’s Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Dr Shehu Adamu told newsmen on Monday in Kaduna that the government was disturbed by the situation.
Adamu said that a report on the programme indicated that the pupils have developed the habit of leaving school immediately after the free meal under the guise of going to drink water.
The commissioner stressed that the programme was introduced to encourage school enrolment, attendance and retention. “The main goal of the school feeding programme is to attract out-of-school children to school and keep them in class for them to acquire education and better their lives.
“We will not allow a situation where children will just come to school and leave the moment they finished eating their meals; if it is about water, we have already asked parents to provide water for their children. Therefore, parents have a responsibility of ensuring that the children do not only come to school on time but remain in school until closing hours,” he said.
He, however, appealed to parents to ensure that children remain in school after taking their free meals, so as not to jeopardise the programme. Adding that parents must ensure that no child returned home until closing hours, “otherwise, the aim would be defeated.”