Written by Austine ELEMUE

FCT home-grown school feeding programme commences

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has stated that the home-grown school feeding programme is scheduled to begin in the FCT before the end of the current academic term. 

This was revealed in a press statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, and made available to journalists in Abuja. 

Ogunleye said that contrary to rumours in some quarters stating that the non-implementation of the home-grown school feeding programme in the FCT was keeping thousands of FCT children out of school, the FCT Scholarship programme has been very effective in ensuring that indigent and the more vulnerable children have access to basic education through the provision of basic school requirements such as books, uniforms and other essential materials. 

 

The statement added that this development has ensured that enrolment figures for basic education in the FCT remained high, adding that over the last 7 years, a total of 85,446 pupils and students cutting across basic, secondary and tertiary institutions have benefitted from the scholarship scheme of the FCTA. 

"The FCT public education system is equally committed to providing the best possible service in all its ramifications to the residents of the FCT. 

"These range from the employment of qualified teachers, provision of adequate infrastructure and also very good boarding school system of a very successful school feeding programme where adequate and very nutritious meals are provided at highly subsidised costs for students in the boarding houses. 

"These services as provided by the FCTA have ensured a steadily increasing enrolment figure in both the basic and senior secondary school sectors which has grown at an average of about 4 percent over the last 3 years. 

"The Home-Grown School Feeding Programme involves the feeding of thousands of children by independent food vendors drawn from within the various communities of the FCT. The Implementation Committee of the programme was inaugurated in August of 2018 and it immediately swung into action with the sensitization of stakeholders in the six Area Councils on the programme and their role in its successful implementation. 

"By November the committee began the training of head teachers and health teachers in schools across the FCT since they will be monitoring officers at the school levels," the statement added. 

 

He further said that the FCT Administration considers it imperative that only the qualified vendors that have met the stringent screening processes are allowed to have access to children’s meals. 

According to him, "The FCT hereafter began the very rigorous and painstaking process of screening all those who applied to participate in the programme last year. About 3500 vendors applied and each one had to undergo medical screening amongst other selection criteria. 

"Of this figure, a total of 1500 vendors scaled through the selection process. With the screening concluded, the ImImplementation Committee will commence the training of vendors on safety and food handling next week".   

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