By Sule ALIYU, Bauchi
Bauchi State has commenced the daily feeding of pupils in primary schools across the 20 LGAs in the state under the Federal Government’s schools’ feeding program.
Speaking with journalists in an interview, the Special Assistant to the state governor on development partners and Social investment Mansur Manu Soro said the program which was launched on Tuesday targets over 307, 000 pupils drawn from primary 1 to 3 across the 20 local governments.
According to him, about 3, 261 women have been engaged as cooks under the program adding that the sum of N70 was being spent for the feeding of each pupil every school day.
”The children are being served palatable foods with meat on Mondays, Tuesdays, eggs on Wednesdays, Fridays and fishes on Thursdays respectively. Bauchi meat factory has been mandated to supply the meat while the rest of the money is being deposited directly into the accounts of the women to purchase the food stuffs”, he pointed out.
Manu Soro who noted that more than 10 states in the south had launched the program but only four states including Bauchi met the criteria for the scheme appealed to the cooks not to sabotage the implementation of the feeding in the state.
He assured that although the program would stop at holiday in the next ten days, it would continue after the resumption of the schools.
Meanwhile national trail reports that Bauchi teachers hijack food Meant for School’s Pupils
Finding reports that some teachers in Bauchi have been accused of partaking in the ongoing school feeding meant for their pupils under the current Federal Government’s home grown school feeding program.
A visit by our Correspondent to some of the primary schools within the state capital revealed that not only does some of these teachers partake in the feeding exercise alongside their pupils, but they also cart away large portion of the food to their houses in their big food warmers.
According to some of the food vendors contracted for the supply of the food to the pupils, who pleaded for anonymity, alleged that the situation is so bad that sometime the food doesn’t go round the pupils in some of those schools.
One of the food vendors said “it really saddens me to see that, after taking my time to prepare food meant to feed school children, it only ends up in teacher’s food warmers for their consumption. I am appealing on these teachers to have the fear of Allah in their hearts and allow the pupils benefit from the feeding program that is meant for them”.
Also another vendor in the ongoing program alleged thus, “it is only when the teachers have taken some in their food warmers that the pupils take what little is left which, in most cases cannot even go round to one third of the targeted pupils”.
Reacting on the allegation in a telephone chat, the Special Assistant to the state governor on development partners and Social investment Mansur Manu Soro said that his office is yet to receive formal complaint with regards to the said allegations.
He also maintained that the responsibility of monitoring the food distribution to schools does not lie on his office alone pointing out that, “my office, the State Security Service, School Based Management Committees (SBMCs), Heads of Schools and Community leaders are all involved in the monitoring of the school feeding program. I am yet to receive complains from any of the monitoring teams to give credence to the allegations. Until we receive evidence to that effect, it would just remain as mere allegation”.