The Enugu State government has taken another giant stride to ensure quality and affordable education through the provision of one free meal daily for its pupils in primary one to three.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the state who inaugurated a steering committee to drive this free meal project yesterday stated that his administration was not only committed to move education to the next level but that it would make the development projects in the sector sustainable.
Prof. Uche Eze who is the state commissioner for education heads the steering committee and explained during the inauguration that the introduction of the single free meal daily for pupils in primary one to three would stimulate sustained attention by the pupils as well as encourage school farming since the feeding is home-grown based.
Governor Ugwuanyi who was represented by his deputy, Chief Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo while inaugurating two separate committees – Science, vocational and Technical education and the free meal steering committee- at Government House, Enugu noted that his government had made human capital development its priority: “ It’s a surest way of sustaining the future of the people”, he told the gathering at the Executive Council Chambers.
He explained that early this year, a combined team from the presidency and partnership for child development from Imperial College, London stormed Enugu to deliver a multi-sectorial (workshop) on the adoption of home grown school feeding programme in the state.
According to him, the task here were made easier because the state had implemented a pilot one free meal daily in its primary schools.
He noted that shortly after that, a delegation from the state was sent to Abuja and Osun state on different occasions to learn from the experiences of others and develop the best plan for the state,
stressing that the measure was a clear indication of the resolve of the state government to adopt the best practices that could ensure the best result following the empowerment of women and youths.
Furthermore, he noted that the state was one of the 18 states in the country selected to benefit from the national home school feeding programme, pointing out that through this programme, one free meal a day would be provided for public school pupils from primary one to three being designed to fight hunger,, starvation, while in school.
According to him, it is expected that since the food would be processed and prepared locally, the programme would encourage and increase agricultural production as well as create jobs for the women and the training youths, as they would be engaged in various level of
agricultural food chain.
Governor Ugwuanyi explained that government embarked on the programme to cushion the effect of children malnutrition while in schools, lack of concentration in classes as well as poor academic performance which necessitated his administration to embark on intensive renovation of about 260 primary schools in the state to boost for adequate teaching and learning in its public schools.
Governor Ugwuanyi also during the event, inaugurated the reconstituted Enugu state science, vocational and technical education board following the expiration of the tenure of the immediate board with Mr. Obikama as its chairman.
He reminded the board members, that his administration since inception had placed a very high premium towards the improvement of education sector though the repositioning of its educational institutions at all levels.
In his words, “Government is particularly committed to the revitalization of science, vocational and technical education in Enugu state as part of its efforts to provide sustainable manpower development and employment potentials for the youths. “I am confident that members of the new board will deploy their competence, knowledge and experience and will approach their responsibilities with requisite dedication and selflessness, to ensure the actualization of this objective”.
On behalf of other members, the two chairmen of the boards, jointly thanked Governor Ugwuanyi for giving them the opportunity to serve the state in that capacity saying that, they would leave no stone unturned in order not to betray the confidence and trust bestowed on them by the people of Enugu State.