The National Association of the Parent-Teacher Association has disagreed with the Federal Government over the attempt to feed pupils at home during the lockdown period.
Recall that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, during his nationwide broadcast on March 29 said the school feeding programme would not be affected by the lockdown.
Buhari said, “Although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.”
The National Association of Parent-Teachers Association President, Mr Haruna Danjuma, in an interview with our correspondent said it would be difficult to sustain the school feeding programme during the lockdown.
Danjuma said, “As a parent body, we are in support of the school feeding programme, we are as well looking for ways to augment whatever the Federal Government is offering. We want the Federal Government to allow the PTA to be part of the implementation so that we can know the types of meals they are giving to our children. There is the need to carry us along in whatever they are giving to our children.
“However, we must say that we don’t know how the Federal Government intends to implement the policy during the lockdown period. I don’t think they can reach any of the pupils now, because the schools are lockdown. Maybe we have to wait for the president to see how he intends to implement this. We are not aware of this plan and we don’t know how they want to realise this.
Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the Association, Dr Ademola Ekundayo, while corroborating Danjuma said the school feeding programme would not achieve its purpose if the Federal Government continues with it during the lockdown.
He said, “To us parents, we see the idea of continuing the school feeding programme during the lockdown as a scam because there is no way it will work. Even parents were not carried along; I don’t know whether the headmasters or principals will be the ones searching for the houses of the pupils and be giving them raw foods as they promised.
“I do not know how they got into that conclusion. I believe all those materials will end up in private purses. There is no way it will work, we should stop deceiving ourselves.