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Free school meal, genuine investment in children —Ikpeazu

By Boniface Okoro, Umuahia on 15/06/2016

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The Abia State Government says its free schools meal initiative for public primary schools is a programme borne out of a genuine desire to invest in children.

Flagging off the first phase of the programme at Amapu Ntigha Primary School in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area, the State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, assured that the programme would be sustained, adding that he feels indebted to the children who are the future leaders.

Ikpeazu said he understands what it means to go to school on empty stomach as well as the pains some parents go through to provide meals for their children, maintaining that under the scheme, every pupil in Abia is sure of at least one meal a day.

The Governor lamented that many wealthy individuals in the society waste tons of food daily while so many children go hungry because their parents or guardians are unable to provide for them.

He stressed the need to bridge the gap, pointing out that the sustainability of the programme lies on the shoulders of compassionate Abia families who are expected to donate a part of what they have to assist the needy in their midst.

He commended those who have already made donations to the programme in cash and school desks and chairs and pleaded with Abia farmers, businessmen and others to buy into the programme.

Commissioner for Education, Prof Ikechi Mgboji, in his speech, noted that the free meal initiative would increase pupils’ enrolment, gender parity, create employment opportunities and enhance the well-being of pupils.

In their speeches, the Head of Service of Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Lady Sally Anosike, and the chairman of the occasion, Odinaka Igwe, commended the initiative. They said it would alleviate the burden on parents and enhance the well being of Abia pupils and called on Abians to support the initiative.

Also presenting goodwill messages, the Chief Executive Officer of Goodseed Foundation, Raymond Aliga, and Mr Eric Opia said they subscribed totally to the lofty goals of the scheme.

The Abia State House of Assembly, commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Transition committee chairmen, among others, who shared their views and made donations, aligned themselves with the good intentions of the scheme and pledged their support.

Highlight of the occasion was the deworming of the pupils as well as presentation of footballs and school bags to them by the governor and his wife, Nkechi.

•Photo shows Governor Ikpeazu and wife, Nkechi.

Source News Express

Posted 15/06/2016 9:48:13 PM

 

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