By Stanley Nwanosike
The state Manager of the programme, Mr Ifeanyi Onah, disclosed this to newsmen in Enugu on Wednesday.
Onah said that the programme had engaged about 1,229 cooks across the state since its commencement in February 2017.
He, however, said that the free school meals being distributed to pupils in the state had increased enrolment and improved pupils’ learning ability.
According to him, the programme has made teaching even easier for the teachers whose pupils can now pay more attention to what is being taught.
He said that the programme had created jobs and brought peace in some homes where hitherto, some women were jobless.
“On the part of farmers, who before now did not have much hope on where to sell their farm produce; they are now sure of where to supply their farm produce.
“Moreover, our local women can now do banking transactions because all the payments they receive from the supply of the free foods to schools are done through banks,’’ onah said.
The manager advised federal government not to jettison ideals of the free school meal programme so that the objective of continued increase in primary school enrolment could be sustained.
Onah, however, lamented the lack of operational vehicles to enable officials move round while monitoring the programme in schools, urging the government to address the challenge.
The Manager also urged the government to take a critical look at the programme with a view to including other pupils – primary four, five and six – as such would remove apparent crisis and hatred which the other pupils might nurse towards the school system.
“I am appealing to Federal Government because we are told that this school meal programe is for elementary one to three. It should be extended to primary four, five and six pupils,’ he said.(NNN)
Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Tukur Muntari.