The Nigeria union of teacher (NUT) has disagreed with the federal government of Nigeria over their stance to continue with the home – Grown School Feeding Programme despite students being at home due to the covid-19 pandemic which forced government to close schools as a measure to curtail the virus.
Speaking to news men on Monday, the secretary-general of the union, Dr Mike Ene, said that implementation, and monitoring of school feeding programme would be more effective and better when students are in session and not when they are at home.
“it is not that the union is against government feeding the primary 1-3 student even at this period, but that large part of the foods items for distribution would certainly end up in the hands of non-target members of the society.”
Ene faulted both the reasons and modalities given by the ministry of humanitarian affairs which is in charge of the programme for continuing with and to execute the project at this period, insisting the reasons are not strong enough.
“it is not enough for the minister to say that government wants to continue with the school feeding programme under this situation just because the food vendors engage under the scheme had already been paid before the COVID-19 and the government would not went to leave the money in their hands even if the food vendors had bought those food stuffs, they can still keep them till when the schools resume since they are not perishable items.”
The NUT scribe also queried the procedures adopted by government for the distribution.
“Even if government made it mandatory to reach out to students under the feeding programme at home at this period, the ministry should have, through NUT, co-opted their teaches and headmasters who not only know the students, but also have their full dossiers and that of their parents at hand.”
It would be recalled that the federal government had explained that it decided to go ahead with the feeding of school children captured in its Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) in order not to neglect malnourished children.