The Osun State Universal Basic Education Board ( SUBEB) has said that it would extend the school feeding programme to Primary three pupils by September 2010.
Mr Joseph Ajayi, SUBEB’s Desk Officer, told The Tide On Sunday in Kaduna that the programme was aimed at increasing school enrolment.
Ajayi said the programme was implemented from Kindergarten to Primary two in all primary schools in the state.
According to him, the programme will be extended to Primary three pupils in 2010 and Primary four in 2011 until all classes at the primary level were covered.
The desk officer said the programme had contributed positively to school enrolment by increasing attendance, retention and reduction in dropouts.
“In fact, the pupils are so happy with the programme to the extent that they come to school on public holidays, and for some of them who fall ill, their parents will come and collect their food.
“Some pupils who get promoted to primary three at times refuse to go to the next class; they prefer to stay in primary two because of the free meal,” he said.
According to him, the board has been collaborating with the school feeding committee inaugurated by the Federal Government to take charge of the feeding programme.
He further said that the programme had attracted attention worldwide and that some African countries had come to the state to study and replicate in their countries.
Ajayi attributed the success of the programme to the commitment of Gov Olagunsoye Oyinlola to ensuring access to education, which theUniversal Declaration on Human Rights recognised as a basic right for everybody.
On the achievements of SUBEB, Ajayi said that health clubs had been established in six focal and three child- friendly schools.
He said that the board had also been involved in awareness campaigns on HIV/ AIDS in some higher institutions as well as training food vendors on hygiene.