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Impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools in Pankshin LGA

Impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools in Pankshin LGA



  • Background to the Study

As early as the 1930s, the United States and the United Kingdom utilized food for education (FFE) to improve children’s health (Gokah, 2008). These early programmes took the form of school feeding programs (SFP), where children were fed meals or snacks at school. This provision of food was seen as one among many strategies that boosted the learners` attendance, participation and performance. Increasing performance and attendance would mean building a learning society. Therefore, sustainable education system and development vision 2020 wants Nigeria to have a well-educated population and one that craves for learning and to have a competitive economy capable of producing sustainable growth and shared benefits (UNESCO, 2013).

Previously, stories of pupils fainting at school due to hunger were many in Nigeria. Some children leave home early in the morning, sometimes as early as five in order to get to school on time. This is because they have to walk long distances to school. Because they leave home early, most of the pupils do not take breakfast. Some do not take breakfast because there is nothing to take for breakfast at home (Navuri, 2013).

Among poor families, there is often no enough food at home; most schools in developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, lack canteen or cafeteria services at school; therefore, schools meals are a good way to channel vital nourishment to poor children. Having a full stomach also helps them to concentrate better on their lessons (World Food Programme, 2012). Government should provide food to school children or their families in exchange for enrollment and attendance in school and this directly relates to the first three Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education and promote gender equality and empower women by 2015 (Lawson, 2012).

            School Feeding Programme (SFP) is aimed at persons who are vulnerable to malnutrition usually children from low-income families (World Food Programme, 2007). Although a school feeding programme may not increase food intake of targeted individuals by 100 percent, it may play a key role in increasing school enrolment in Nigerian schools. Besides improving food consumption, school feeding programme may encourage school attendance and learning (World Food Programme, 2000). Enrolment and school attendance are important key aspects in Nigerian education. It is therefore important to ensure that every child enroll and attend school since it enables him to attain the right to education which is one of fundamental goal of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The increase in enrollment and school attendance worldwide may lead to achievement of global commitment of Education for All (EFA) that was resolved at world education forum in Dakar by UNESCO and other agencies like UNICEF. One of the goals of the forum was to expand and improve early childhood education to vulnerable children by 2015. Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a fundamental level of learning since it provides children with a firm foundation in learning. Further, it prepares children for primary learning as well as other levels of learning and to become healthy individuals for social life (Murungi, 2012). This call for ensuring that every child participates in ECE and this can be ensured through provision of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in schools.

Lawson (2012) continues to maintain that there are consistent positive effects of School Feeding Programme (SFP) on energy intake, micronutrient status and school enrolment of children participating on School Feeding Programme (SFP) compared to non-participating children. However, School Feeding Programme (SFP) vary widely from country to country that design, implement and evaluate it. According to World Food Programme (1990) School meals do act as an incentive for parents to send their children to school; however, it may increase enrollment and attendance rate. Despite all these benefits of School Feeding Programme (SFP), Lawson (2012) estimated that between the years 2003-2005, nine hundred and twenty three million children in the world were chronically hungry, many of whom were children from developing countries. It is observed that the high population of hungry children and limited resources has sabotaged the implementation of School Feeding Programme (SFP) which in turn has affected school attendance and enrolment in schools. The Special Supplementation of Food Programme (SSFP), for example, in the United States (US) resulted in savings in medicated health care costs for women, infants and children (Von and IFPRI, 1992). Feeding programmes are important as they are politically and socially accepted means of addressing hunger in the world, however, they are not easy to administer.

According to World Food Programme (2000), other aspects of education such as quality of education in terms of qualified teachers, conducive environment and adequate teaching and learning materials become relevant; when hunger is addressed and the child is in school. Child hunger may be addressed through provision of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in schools especially to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who are considered at risk of malnutrition. Graham (2008) posits that the Problems of malnutrition cannot be overcome by a school meal programme which provides less than 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance for calories. The meals provided in a School Feeding Programme (SFP) therefore should be balanced and of right calories. However, the provision of fewer calories in a programme may improve school attendance and enrolment only (Graham, 2008).

School Feeding Programme (SFP) can also increase enrollment if they are targeted at the right communities or populations (Bundy and World Bank, 2011). The programme is more likely to have a positive result on enrollment when they are integrated with a facilitative learning environment and appropriate health and nutritional interventions. It is also important to note that not all School Feeding Programme (SFP) provided yield positive effects. Bundy (2009) found out that School Feeding Programme (SFP) do not always achieve the same effect because factors like modality of School Feeding Programme (SFP), gender of the beneficiaries and types of food provided can influence the programme outcomes.

Most Nigerian citizens are living below the poverty line (United Nations, 2018) and they are facing challenges to overcome hunger and poverty. School meals may improve attendance through nutrition by reducing morbidity which is a leading cause of school absenteeism. Adelman, Gilligan and Lehrer, (2008), further attribute that school meals may improve children’s nutritional status that may strengthen their immunity and protect them against diseases. Adequate finances are required to run a feeding programme, yet most developing countries like Nigeria lack such additional finances. This is very disturbing since the lack of additional financial and human resources collapses School Feeding Programme (SFP) and this may worsen school attendance, enrolment, performance and level of dropout rates.

With the launch of School Feeding Programme (SFP), enrollment rates in countries like Burundi have increased (World Bank, 2010). Though lack of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in most schools may be attributed to low enrolment and school attendance, Adelman, Gilligan and Lehrer, (2008) purport that a number of children enroll in school late or fail to enroll completely due to other factors like lack of funds, lack of child care and a perception of limited benefits of attending school at a recommended age. The persistence of all these factors has increased the percentage of children not attending school in Nigeria.

            According to Onyimbo (2007) School Feeding Programme faces several challenges in Nigeria which has made the implementation process very difficult. Some of the challenges are: lack of funds, lack of formal training on School Feeding Programme (SFP) management courses and lack of parental involvement in these programs. Consequently, implementation process of School Feeding Programme (SFP) has not yet been effectively carried out in most of Nigerian schools. In addition, Parental involvement in preparation of meals is still low as parents are too busy with work and other businesses.

So far, Nigeria commenced the implementation of the school feeding programme. As a result, the Federal Government came up with the Universal Basic Education Act in 2004, which provided the enabling legislative backing for the execution of the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme. Towards the realization of the objectives of the Universal Basic Education programme and the central role of nutrition, the Federal Ministry of Education launched the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme in 2005. The overall goal of the School Feeding Programme in Nigeria is to reduce hunger and malnutrition among school children and enhance the achievement of Universal Basic Education.

Ndung’u (2010) cited that lack of stakeholders support and inadequate additional finances hinder the running of the programme. The scarcity of food in Arid and Semi- Arid areas may limit the number of servings per day and hinder provision of variety of foods as well as balanced diet. In addition factors based on needs assessment, community participation, financial management and policy regulatory frameworks also hindered the running of School Feeding Programme (SFP).

In the light of the above discussion, this study seeks to determine the Impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.

  • Statement of the Problem

School Feeding Programme is an organized programme that aims at alleviating hunger while supporting education, health and community development (WFP, 2007). SFP provides meals or snacks to be eaten during school hours or distributed as dry take home food rations to pupils at the end of each day, month or school term. According to World Food Programme (WFP, 2004), SFP are implemented with the aims of improving nutritional status, alleviating short term hunger, improving school attendance and class concentration and improving household food security. Nigeria through Ministry of Education has made efforts to address the issue school enrolment, attendance and academic performance. Available statistical information on low enrolment, attendance and academic performance showed hunger was the commonest cause.

Though School Feeding Programme (SFP) are available in some primary schools in Nigeria, the Government of Nigeria seems to have failed to address challenges that have affected School Feeding Programme (SFP) directly and school attendance and enrolment indirectly. The inadequate and underfunding of School Feeding Programme (SFP) and inadequate parental support hinders the outcomes of School Feeding Programme (SFP). Hence the topic “Impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.”

  • Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to determine the impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau.

            The specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To find out the extent to which food is provided for children in schools.
  2. To determine how school feeding programme encourage school enrollment and attendance.
  3. To find out whether children in the schools where meals are provided outnumber those in schools where meals are not provided.
  4. To proffer solutions to the identified problems where necessary.
    • Research Questions

In order to have a guide in the course of the research, the researcher formulated the following research questions:

  1. To what extent is food provided for children in primary schools?
  2. To what extent does school feeding programme encourage school enrollment and attendance?
  3. To what extent does the population of pupils in the school where there is school feeding differ from where there is none?
  4. What are the solutions to the non-implementation of school feeding in primary school?
    • Research Hypothesis

The following research hypotheses were raised:

H01 There is no significant relationship between school feeding programmes and school enrollment of primary school pupils in Pankshin Local Government Area


  • Significance of the Study

This research shall be of benefit to the following education stakeholders which include: pupils, parents, other researchers, school authorities and government as well.

Pupils will benefit from this study because they will be given adequate feeding in their school which will encourage and motivate them to attend school

Parents will get to know the importance of providing food for the child before he or she goes to school. They will also be motivated to contribute to the school feeding programmes during Patents Teachers’ Association (PTA) meetings in order to enhance the enrolment of children in the schools.

When this study is completed, it will serve as reference materials to future researchers who would want to venture in further studies on school feeding programmes. As a matter of fact, the study will add to the already existing body of literature on school feeding programme.

School authorities on the other hand, will come to terms with the fact that school feeding encourages children to come to school, therefore they will make provision for food for school children.

The government who have the biggest role to play in terms of providing financially for the schools to enable them give the children quality food, will provide more food for the children.

  • Scope/Delimitation of the Study

The study covers the Impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools. The research is limited to Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. However, the study is limited to the local government, the findings can be generalized to other parts of the state and country at large.

  • Operational definition of Terms

Impact: This is the aftermath of a phenomenon. This is the extent to which something has effect on a person or another thing which is either positive or negative.

School Feeding: This is the feeding of school children, especially primary 1-3 pupils.

Enrolment: This refers to the situation whereby parents bring their children to school in order to register them as pupils of a particular school.

Attendance: This refers to the level or rate at which pupils come to school after enrolment.



2.1. Concept and Origin of School Feeding Programme

2.2 School Feeding Programme and School Attendance

2.3. Effects of School Feeding Programme on Pupils Academic Performance

2.4 Effect of School Feeding Programmme on School Enrolment, attendance and Retention

2.5. School Feeding Programme and Enrollment

2.6 Factors Affecting Sustainability of Feeding Programmes

2.6.1. Community and Parental Involvement

2.6.2 Needs Assessment

2.6.3 Financial Management

2.6.3 Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

2.7 Summary of Literature Review


This chapter presents the method adopted in this study. This is done under: design of the study, population of the study, sample and sampling technique, instruments for data collection, validation of the instruments, reliability of the instruments, method of data collection, and method of data analysis.

Research Design

The study will adopt descriptive survey design to ascertain the impact of school feeding programme on school attendance and enrollment in primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area. Ali (2006) described descriptive survey research design as one in which a group of people or items is studied by collecting and analyzing data from a few people or items that are representative of the entire group. The choice of this design is considered appropriate to this study because it is aimed at collecting data on, and describing in a systematic manner, the characteristic features and facts about a given population.

Population and Sample

Population of the Study

The population of the study will consist of all the primary school teachers in public primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area. There are 41 public primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area with 3, 011 teachers.

Sample of the Study

            The sample of the study will consist of 100 respondents from 10 primary schools.

Sampling Techniques

In selecting the sample schools for this research, the researcher will make use of the simple random sampling technique. The researcher will collect the names of all the primary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area, and write each of them on small pieces of papers and squeeze to conceal their contents, then put all in a basket. The researcher will then pick 10 of the papers randomly from the basket. The schools whose names will be written on the papers will be used as sample schools for the study.

In drawing the sample of respondents for the research, the researcher will maKe use of the simple random sampling technique again. The researcher will write 100 alphabet “Y” and the rest will be “N” on pieces of papers and squeeze them to conceal their contents. Then the researcher will put all of them in a basket. In each of the selected primary schools, the teachers will be asked to pick at random from the basket. Those who will pick “Y” will be selected to participate in the exercise while those who will pick “N” written on them will not constitute part of the research. The researcher’s choice of the simple random sampling technique is because it allows accurate and unbiased selection of respondents.

Instrument for Data Collection

            The instruments that were used for collecting data for this study will be questionnaire which has four likert scale of strongly agree (SA), agree (A), disagree (D) and strongly disagree (SD).

Validity and Reliability of the Instrument

Validation of the Instrument

In order to ensure the validity of the instrument, the initial draft of the instrument will be face-validated by five experts:  three in educational administration and planning and two others in Measurement and Evaluation Department. Specifically, these experts will be requested to examine the instrument. Their corrections, comments and suggestions will be used to modify the instrument to arrive at the final draft.

Method of Data Collection

            The researcher will personally administer the questionnaire to the teachers of the selected schools. The completed copies will be retrieved immediately from the respondents.

Method of Data Analysis

The data to be analyzed in the next chapter will be based on the data obtained from the respondents. The instrument for data analysis will be simple percentage and mean.

The formula for simple mean statistics:

x= ƩfxƩn


x = Arithmetic mean

Ʃ = Summation of values

Ʃf = The sum total of the frequency

x = Scores

The factors for decision making were computed as follows:

SA (4) A (3) D (2) SD (1)

4 + 3 + 2 + 1 =  104 = 2.5

            The implication of the mean score of 2.5 was that, if any mean score calculated was equal to or greater than the criterion mean score of 2.5, it was retained as a factor. But if less than 2.5, it was rejected as a factor.



4.1. Results

4.2 Discussion of Findings



5.1 Summary of Findings

5.2 Conclusion

  • Recommendations






2.1. The Concept and Origin of School Feeding Programme

School feeding is simply the provision of food to children through schools. According to Oyefade (2014), different countries have one or a combination of the two feeding modalities in place for various objectives. However, they can be grouped into two broad categories: in-school meals and take-home rations where families are given food if their children attend school. Historically, in-school meals have been the most popular modality of school feeding interventions. The school feeding can be in turn grouped into two common categories: programme that provides meals and programme that provides high-energy biscuits or snacks to generate greater impacts on school enrolment, retention rates, and reduce gender or social gaps (Akanbi, 2013). Uduku, (2011) contended that there are `indications of a significant swing in thinking about school feeding and many elements of this new thinking are being promoted keenly under the rubric of “home grown school feeding”.

Tomlinson (2007) traced the emergence of school feeding programme to the 1930s in the United Kingdom and the United States of America with a focus on improving the growth of children. In 1900 Netherlands became the first country to move the programme to a new level of incorporating school meals into a national legislation. By the 1930s, the United Kingdom and the United States had also instituted the school feeding programme as part of their national programmes. A further account indicates that school feeding initiatives have been in existence since the late 1700’s and originated as projects of donors in Europe. The United States of America began the practice of initiating school feeding programmes in Austria as an act of international aid focused on combating the severe malnutrition of children in the 1940s after the Second World War. Since then, school feeding programmes have become a key part of food assistance, relief emergency and development programmes. School Feeding Programme is a social safety net for children and as part of the national development goals. It provides an important new opportunity to assist poor families and feed hungry children. It provides incentive for poor families to send their children to school and keep them there.

In order to improve the nutritional status of school children, the Federal Government of Nigeria launched the Home-Grown School Feeding and Health Programme in September, 2005 under the coordination of the Federal Ministry of Education. The programme aimed to provide pupils with adequate meal during the school day (FME,

2007). The scheme, officially known as Home Grown School Feeding Programme insisted on buying the foodstuffs from the local farmers. It therefore reduced the rate of malnutrition while it also provided the local farmers the opportunity to sell their produce to participating schools. According to the Federal Government’s directive, Federal,

State and Local Governments were to fund the programme with the State and Local Governments providing the bulk.

School feeding programmes constitute critical interventions that have been introduced in many developed and developing countries of the world to address the issue of poverty, stimulate school enrolment and enhance pupils’ performance. In developing countries, almost 60 million children go to school hungry everyday and about 40 percent of them are from Africa. Providing school meals is therefore vital in nourishing children. Parents are motivated to send their children to school instead of keeping them at home to work or care for siblings (Akanbi, 2013).The introduction of the school feeding is traced to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiative and several conferences held thereafter by African leaders which aimed to tackle issues, such as peace, security, good economic, political and corporate governance and to make the continent an attractive destination for foreign investment. Some of these developments include the ‘New Partnership for African Development’ which according to the blueprint is a pledge by African leaders, based on common vision and a firm and shared conviction, to eradicate poverty and to place their countries on the path of sustainable growth and development and, at the same time, to participate actively in the world economy and politics. Also, the ‘Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme’ and the ‘Millennium Hunger Task Force’ amongst others were initiatives which were designed to link school feeding to agricultural development through the purchase and use of locally produced food (Bundy et al, 2009). Nigeria happened to be one of twelve (12) pilot countries invited to implement the programme.

2.2 The Effect of School Feeding Programmme on School Enrolment and Retention

As observed by Oyefade, (2014), the decision to enroll a child in school and, thereafter, for the child to attend regularly is influenced by many factors. These include the perceived value of education, the availability of employment opportunities, the direct and indirect cost of schooling and the availability and quality of school facilities. Food incentives offered to students such as school meals compensate parents for direct educational costs. He observed further that implementation of School Feeding Programme (SFP) is associated with increase in enrolment, particularly for girls. Also, several studies have found a strong relationship between education and poverty, particularly inequality. The poor are heavily deprived and so are their children. As observed by Oyefade (2014), several factors with significant impact on many dimensions of poverty on school attendance and education quality, particularly early childhood malnutrition, deprivation based on gender and income inequality tend to be responsible. In many countries, such as Brazil, Philippines, Cambodia, Mali, El Salvador, Indonesia, Ghana, Bangladesh, Ecuador etc where school feeding programmes are implemented, data reveals that the programme has increased enrolment and attendance rates over the years (Akanbi 2013).

In Bangladesh, the research carried out by The International Food Policy Research Institute on the effects of school feeding programme found that the programme raised school enrolment rates by 14.2%, reduced the probability of dropping out of school by 7.5% and increased school attendance by 1.3 days a month. Similarly, in Pakistan a programme provides an income in the form of one or two tins of oil to families whose girls attend school for twenty days per month. In its pilot phase, the oil incentive programme demonstrated that it could make a significant contribution to full attendance. In participating schools, enrolment improved overall while attendance increased from 73% to 95% among participants. The programme also claims to put additional food in the hands of mothers to serve as a contact between mothers and teachers on distribution days. In another study in Bangladesh, a programme of school-based food distribution increased enrolment by 20% and a 2% decline in non-participating schools (Ahmed, 2004).

Still on the issue of School Feeding Programme (SFP) and enrolment, Oyeniran (2014) observed that schooling and institutions regulating access to enrolment in developing countries, to some extent, contribute to the class and social divide in urban areas. Equally, educational opportunity is driven by unequal and asymmetric political decision-making structures whereby people from poorer backgrounds tend to bear the brunt of national and local policies. He contended that availability of schools does not automatically result in higher enrolment numbers and submitted that some families cannot send their children to school because the combined cost of fees, textbooks and uniforms is prohibitive.

However, studies have further revealed that provision of food must not be the only focal-point for improving access to education or education opportunity equality. Poor education environment can contribute to drop out rate, while quality education increases enrolment which can lead to classroom overcrowding. Psacharopouls (1998) indicated that the quantified benefits of investing in education are highest at primary levels. This view provides a strong case for expanding investment in primary rather than higher levels of education. Public interest in School Feeding Programmes have stemmed from the endorsement of the view that education is essential in the promotion of the quality of human life for economic and social development. Education has for many years served as a vehicle for empowering and transforming people for better societies and the world as a whole.

In the last few years, School Feeding Programme (SFP) have enjoyed massive support and attention from international organizations and many development partners, this can be attributed to the multi-faceted role of this social intervention (education, health, agriculture) in achieving development objectives in many countries and a ‘perceived’ demand for the programme. In its multi-faceted role, School Feeding Programme (SFP) can be linked to several of the MDGs namely; eradication of extreme poverty, hunger, achieving universal basic education, promoting gender equality and women empowerment, developing a global partnership for development, hence, the use of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in the developing countries is a significant intervention to be considered (Birdsall et al, 2005).

 2.3. The Effects of School Feeding Programme on Pupils Academic Performance

Many studies on nutrition have shown that under nutrition in children stunts their growth and mental development, hence, the relationship between nutrition and academic performance (Alabi, 2003). Although, food has classically been perceived as a means of providing energy and building materials to the body, research over the years has provided exciting evidence for the influence of dietary factors on mental function. Not only are children motivated to get into school but also there is a significant impact on their nutritional status and development, cognitive capabilities and academic performance. Literature has shown that the development and learning potential of the beneficiaries depend on the quality and nutrient components of food (Jukes et al, 2008).

Nutritional and health status are powerful influences on a child’s learning and how a child performs in school. Children who lack certain nutrients in their diet do not have the same potential for learning as healthy and well nourished children. Children with cognitive and sensory impairments naturally perform less and are more likely to repeat grades. The irregular school attendance of malnourished and unhealthy children is one of the key factors for poor performance (Uduku, 2011).

Yunusa (2012) noted that students in School Feeding Programmes have the potential for improving their performance because it enabled them attend school regularly and studied more effectively. He found that in a study carried out in Jamaica, children in Grade 2 scored higher in Arithmetic when they started being fed at school. However, the impact of School Feeding Programme on the academic performance of pupils has been embraced with mixed feelings. It was observed that although School Feeding Programme (SFP) motivate parents to enroll their children in school, its impact on academic performance is mixed and depends on various factors within the context in which the programme is set.

Drawing from this, Uduku (2011) opined that School Feeding Programme (SFP) would best improve the performance of pupils when coupled with adequate learning materials, physical facilities and teacher motivation.


2.4 The Relationship between School Feeding Programme and School Attendance

School Feeding Programme can improve school attendance (Thompson, Amoroso & FAO of United Nations, 2014). Although they may be considered expensive, School Feeding Programme (SFP) benefits could be achieved more cheaply. Food attracts children to school and reduces hunger while they learn. The programmes have considerably impacted on school participation. In Bangladesh for example, there was an increase of 14% in enrolment and 6% increase in attendance (Gilligan, 2009). There is therefore need to provide School Feeding Programme (SFP) in Nigerian schools since it may decrease the percentage of children not attending school. Murungi (2012) found that 65% percent of children are not attending primary school education. Even though factors like lack of uniform, sickness, family affairs, lack of food at home, lack of tuition, poor performance may be contributing to low enrolment and attendance, lack of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in many primary schools may be a major contributing factor.

Hunger and malnutrition are common in most developing countries, Nigeria inluded. Most households are food insecure and children in those households usually go to school on empty stomachs (Lambers & WFP, 2009). Del (1999) reveals that children affected by hunger and malnutrition as well as ill health do not have the same potential to do well at school in comparison with well-nourished and healthy ones. Malnutrition affects children n’s cognitive performance as it reduces the capacity to participate in learning activities. Due to poor cognitive

development, children are most likely to perform poorly and repeat classes (Bruhn, 2004). Furthermore, children may absent themselves from school and even drop out if the situation becomes chronic. There have been reported cases of children repeating classes, dropping out of school and others even enroll late in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State due to hunger as a result of persistent drought in the area ( plangkat, 2013).

            Introduction of universal school breakfast programmes improve rates of attendance and punctuality and decrease rates of psychosocial symptoms (Duggan, Watkins &Walker, 2008). Ahmed & Ninno (2002) showed that School Feeding Programme (SFP) increased school attendance by a large percentage. In the study they carried out, the overall rate of attendance in school with feeding programmes was 70 percent compared to 58 percent in non-programme schools. The use of take home rations also increase attendance significantly since it act as an incentive to attend school. This therefore suggests that there is need for school feeding programmes in primary schools. Proponents of School Feeding Programme (SFP) point to a variety of logistical, empirical and moral factors that suggest the need for School Feeding Programme (SFP) in schools. Despite the fact that there are huge numbers of children not attending school; compared to two decades ago children attending school in the developing world today have increased slightly. According to these proponents, School Feeding Programme (SFP) improve educational outcomes. The longer the children stay in school, the less susceptible they are to certain problems, for example, contracting HIV or becoming pregnant later during their teenage years (Bennett, 2003).

            Offering meals at school is an effective way to encourage chronically hungry children to attend classes. Vermeerch & Kremer (2004) affirm that the average school participation is higher in primary schools with school feeding programmes than those without. An evaluation done in Jamaica and Tamil Nadu (India) further showed that School Feeding Programme (SFP) increase attendance and retention. A randomized control study carried out in western Kenya demonstrated that children’s school participation was 30 percent higher among children attending school with School Feeding Programme (SFP) (Vermeerch, 2002). Primary school participation has remained generally low due to other factors, major factor being lack of School Feeding Programme (SFP).

In many developing countries, children’s hunger is exacerbated by the fact that many of them do not receive nutritious meal to boost their energy levels. In Nigeria for instance, most children attend school without food (Ehiri, 2009). Low blood sugar levels condition affects their concentration and school performance (Levinger, 1994). Lack of food can further lead to micronutrient deficiencies like iodine and vitamin that have been associated with poor performance in various achievement tests (Pollitt, 2014).

2.5. School Feeding Programme and Enrollment

School Feeding Programme disproportionately benefit poor children by creating incentives to enroll and attend school as well as improve health, attentiveness and capacity to learn (Sachs, 2005). In Ogun State, school-based food distribution increased enrolment to 20 percent at a time when enrolment at non-participating schools was 2 percent (Gilligan, 2009).

World Food Programme case studies in some West African countries like Niger similarly documented strong improvements in enrolment when families received food incentives in return for good school attendance (WFP Report, 2010). According to this report school meal has significant positive effect on such indicators as attendance rates, primary completion rates, continuation to secondary and exam scores. Specifically, enrollment and attendance are higher, particularly in early grades in the schools that offered school meals. Primary school completion rate is also higher when meals are present, particularly for girls. Higher percentages of children move onto secondary school from primary schools that offered meals. Further, the report contends that children in schools with regular meals scored over 300 in their exams (Odion, 2010). In Nigeria today, large percentage of children drop out at primary level and for those who go through secondary education, most of them fail exams. This may be attributed to many factors, poor implementation of School Feeding Programme (SFP) being the major one.

Inadequacy in implementation process may hinder the benefits of school feeding programmes. Yet there are multiple levels of positive effect derived from school meals (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, 2000). According to Odion (2010) school meals lead to cash savings as it reduces the amount of money spent in households for food purchase. This has an economical benefit to most countries that represents between 4 to 9 percent of annual household income. School lunch allows parents to enroll and leave their children in school during the entire day which frees up time that almost 30% of households use to expand income-earning activities. In rural areas most parents spend their time to prepare meals for their children. Coincidentally, the rural areas experience a high level of poverty (Odion, 2010). The low enrollment and attendance has been associated mainly with lack of School Feeding Programme (SFP) and high poverty levels which are contributed by many factors like drought emergency and other problems like AIDS epidemic, urban migration and lack of government resources.

According to Roy (2006), nearly 50 percent of the Nigerian population lives below the poverty line (less than a dollar a day) and have inadequate access to food. In addition, Odion (2010) contemplates that 2.2 million children remain out of school. The enrolment in primary school programmes continues to grow in Nigeria, from 300,000 in 1973 to recent statistics of 951,997 but still 65% of children are not attending primary school education. Apart from factors like children being retained in the extended family childcare system to provide care to their younger siblings, lack of school fees, uniforms and other related expenses, lack of food at home prohibits children from participating in primary school education (Swadener, Kabiru & Njenga, 2000), lack of School Feeding Programme (SFP) continues to be a leading factor that contributes to low attendance and enrollment.

2.6 Factors Affecting Sustainability of Feeding Programmes

There are several factors that affect the School Feeding Programme (SFP) worldwide, however the researchers focused on the key factors like community and parental involvement, needs assessment, financial management and policy, regulatory frameworks. These factors are discussed below.

2.6.1. Community and Parental Involvement

Community and parental involvement is crucial in provision of School Feeding Programme (SFP). Implementation of School Feeding Programme (SFP) can be successful if community can be consulted while designing the programme, if there are community level structures for communication, if there is a committee with parents and teachers representatives and if the community gets motivation to execute their roles fully in providing School Feeding Programme (SFP). Cole (2007) pointed out that community participation is vital to obtain support for planning and development.

Tablot and Verrinder (2005) further suggested that community participation is a concept that attempts to bring different stakeholders together for problem solving and decision making. Communities are valuable resources for schools when locally involved in programmes. They contribute to sustainability of programmes like School Feeding Programme (SFP) and health promotion intervention (Young, 2005).

According to Nketiah (2011), School Feeding Programme (SFP) is important as it can increase contact and hence communication between parents, teachers and officials, provides parents with an opportunity to become aware of what goes on in schools and add value to education. The programme can also motivate parents to enroll their children in school and ensure regular attendance. Although community and parental involvement is crucial to School Feeding Programme (SFP), Nkonjo (2011) asserts that not many communities and parents are involved in School Feeding Programme (SFP) in Nigeria.

2.6.2 Needs Assessment

Needs assessment is crucial to School Feeding Programme (SFP) just like any other programme. To successfully implement School Feeding Programme (SFP), there is need to carry out a thorough needs assessment before the project commence. It is important to involve all the stakeholders of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in needs assessment. There is also need to consider all the issues, problems and opportunities while assessing the needs.

Successful implementation of School Feeding Programme (SFP) also depends on the fact that the community includes the programme as one of the priorities in local developments plans.

A study carried out by Olubayo, et al (2013) in Ogun State reveals that needs assessment is thoroughly done before the project commence and that community include School Feeding Programme (SFP) as one of the priorities in their plans. Failure to consider all issues, problems and opportunities and not involving all stakeholders in the process of need assessment may be attributed to collapse of School Feeding Programme (SFP) in Nigeria.

Involving all stakeholders is necessary for successful implementation of a Programme. According to O’Brochta (2002), sponsoring a group may be organized for the needs assessment project only or it may be existing group or groups which assume responsibility for the needs assessment.

Based on either way, the sponsoring group must contribute to time, leadership and management and its good name and reputation to the project. Objective and goals of a programme can only be obtained if community groups and interested citizen are invited and motivated to participate.

2.6.3 Financial Management

Accountability and transparency of finances in a programme can only be done if there is capacity to plan and manage budget needs, if there is budget plan in place, if there are plans to finance the programme in future and if a good percentage of finances can be sourced from small scale farmers. From a study carried out by Olubayo, et al (2013), it was found that there was a budget in place and that good percentage of the finances was sourced from small scale farmers, but there was no capacity to plan and budget needs.

Funding is vital to every project. Koontz and Weirich (2001) assert that as the programme becomes national, it requires stable and autonomous funding source. This can be through government resources or development funding. According to Maset and Gelli (2011), stable funding is a prerequisite for sustainability and implementation of every project.

Government support to feeding programmes can be achieved through budget allocation. Ayieke (2005) ascertains that government plan and budget for their priorities on an annual basis based on national planning process. Ayieke (2005) further suggested that the degree to which School Feeding Programme (SFP) is included in the planning and budgeting process can determine whether the programme get resources from the national budget and whether it benefits from general budget support allocation.

2.6.3 Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

The implementation of any project should be governed by policies and regulations with procedures for consultation with participants. The consultation process should be open and transparent. Further the success of School Feeding Programme (SFP) can be enhanced through staff training on knowledge of School Feeding Programme (SFP). In addition, there should be an implementing unit and implementing arrangement for the School Feeding Programme (SFP) in the school. Monitoring and evaluation need to be carried out to check whether objectives and goals of the programme are met. Reports of this process should be produced frequently.

A study carried out by Olubayo, Amisialuvi and Namusonge (2013) in Ogun State ascertain that there are procedures for consultation with participants and that consultation process is open and transparent, however staff are not trained on knowledge of School Feeding Programme (SFP) and there are no resources to manage it.

Lack of training and resources may inhibit the provision of School Feeding Programme (SFP) (Olubayo, Amisialuvi and Namusonge, 2013) Guidelines that govern School Feeding Programme (SFP) are very important. Establishing policies on School Feeding Programme (SFP) for school health is critical as it ensures the sound implementation of the programme. It further suggests that School Feeding Programme (SFP) policies should be based on correct assessment of the situation in a particular country. Briggs (2008) further indicates that sound policies are developed when teachers, children and parents are involved.

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