The Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, LASUBEB, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, has called on all the relevant stakeholders involved in the homegrown School Feeding Programme to prioritise the well-being of school pupils, who are the beneficiaries of the initiative, in the implementation of the programme.
Alawiye-King, in his address to stakeholders at the headquarters of LASUBEB in Maryland, said that the vision of the programme which is premised on pupils’ well-being must not be compromised for any reason, stressing that “the life of every Lagos State student is paramount to the Government”.
He commended the officers involved in the Homegrown School Feeding Programme and urged them to key into the vision of LASUBEB of “leaving no child behind” by prioritising the health of the children The Board Chairman outlined stakeholders involved in the programme as officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, members of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB as well as Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) and Desk Officers in charge of the Collection Centres for the programme across the State.
While saying that all hands must be on deck to ensure that school pupils are provided with quality foods, Alawiye-King tasked those in charge of monitoring the feeding programme to ensure strict compliance with laid down standards that would make it an all-round success.
A Permanent Board Member of LASUBEB in charge of the programme, Mr. Bayo Adefuye disclosed that the State Government identified the need to support the initiative and collaborate with the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders in the feeding programme in order to further strengthen the education system in the country He promised that the Board would ensure that farm produce used in preparing food for the pupils are fresh, nourishing, of high quality and are delivered on regular basis.
Adefuye stated that the effectiveness of the programme is not just about increased enrolment of pupils in schools but about providing meals that nourish their body, instil their interest in learning and ensure that the children benefit from the programme generally, stressing that the health of the pupils is more important to the government.
Giving updates on the progress of the programme across the 774 schools in the State, the Director of Agric, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Biola Ayoade, commended the State Government for supporting the initiative, noting that some teething challenges encountered at the inception of the programme are already being addressed.
She acknowledged the fact that some of the expected outcomes of the programme are already manifesting across schools in the State as witnessed in the increased numbers of pupils attending school as well as an improved retention rate of the children among others.
The homegrown feeding programme is an initiative of the Federal government, fully supported by the State, to feed pupils from primary 1-3 as a way of encouraging better academic performance and healthy living.