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1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria runs 6-3-3-4 policy of education. This translates into six years of primary education, three years of junior secondary and another three years of senior secondary schools, after which students are prepared knowledge-wise for the various types of tertiary education. Primary school education in Nigeria remain mandatory for eligible children. Schools are variously established and located in communities for the enrollment and training of pupils. Primary education is the education given in institution for children aged 6-11+. Since the rest of the education system is built upon it, the primary level is the key to the success or failure of the whole educational system (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). In this sense, primary education is declared as the foundation of all other forms of education. It is the most popular level of education in Nigeria and the world. This is because it is available in both the developed and the developing countries, as well as urban and rural areas (Olusola, 2009).
The significance of primary school education is illustrated as a place for children at such developmental stage, where they gain fundamental knowledge, skills, thoughts, feelings and actions which are considered necessary for all citizens regardless of their social status, vocation or sex (Orukotan and Oladapo,1992). It is not surprising, therefore, the global acceptance of primary education as a basic human right embodied in numerous human right treaties.Notable is the United Nations (UN) 1948 Declaration, which proposes universal primary education as fundamental goal for any nation that quest for development. Such a lofty stance was endorsed by the Addis Ababa African conference of education of 1961. More so, the OAU Charter on Basic Human Right of 1963 placed emphases on primary education as a sound tool for development. While, the UN (1989) convention on the right of child indicates that the child has a right to education and that the state (government) must ensure the primary education is not only free but must also be made compulsory (Duruh,2010). Governments in Nigeriahave variously pursued the provision of primary school education for the children since introduction of western education dating back to 1940 (Akinyemi and Ajayi, 1983). The provision of primary school education by the governments in Nigeria and its quality since the 1908 ordinance, which provided and laid the foundations for contemporary primary school structures (Duruh, 2010), have continued to raise concern and questions. These questions relate to primary school accessibility, quality, commitment and interest from the beneficiaries (pupils and their parents), have made government to respond to primary school educational provisions in many ways.
Towards pupils oriented quality primary education, Kaduna State government on 18 January, 2016, launched School Feeding Programme (SFP) for the 1.8 million primary schools students in the state (Daily-Post, 4th April, 2016). According to the state government, such a programme would increase school enrolments and assist children to learn better. Each meal cost N50 per pupils. The instrumentation of SFP in educational settings, especially primary schools have become critical and considered crucial to the child’s progression and sound academic foundations, but more importantly the overall development of a nation (UNDP, 2003, UNICEF, 2006, EFA, 2010, WFP, 2013). Despite perceived importance of educational programming such as SFP, it is rightly noted that: in reality the impact of SFPs is uncertain at best, since little work has been done on evaluating them.
Until recently, SFPs were viewed as predominantly nutrition/feeding interventions aimed at improving the nutrition status of school-children so the effects of SFPs on educational outcomes were often not emphasized or examined. Towards that quest, exceptions are the studies recognizing the role that SFPs play in encouraging school enrolment and attendance, an objective that continues to be important in some countries today (Del Roso,1999). It is the background through which this study is conceived in particular to examine the relationship between the Kaduna state SFP and the pupil’s learning.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Learning in primary schools in Nigeria entails serious educational, administrative, socio-economic, political challenges to 'the pupil, parents, communities and the state (government). Specifically, issues such as, dearth of infrastructures: dilapidated classrooms and buildings, material resources such as books, desk, chairs and table, recreational facilities, poorly remunerated teachers, truancy, nonchalant attitude of parents and communities to quality and quantity of educational outcomes, all combined to bring out poor quality of educational provisions at this level. Admittedly, the repercussion of these ugly development with primary school educational development in Nigeria have been severe both to the individual and the nation. Hence, the introduction of feeding programme for primary school pupils in Kaduna state, as a powerful instrument to arresting the ugly-drifts in the goals of primary education. This call for situating such a programme in the context of learning and the learning outcomes among pupils in the state. This study intend to establish the link, by exposing the effect of the programme on learning in six selected primary schools in Kaduna South L.G.A.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study is designed to explore and expose the effects of the recently launched feeding programme for primary school pupils by Kaduna state government as it affects learning in four Primary Schools in Tudun Wada area of Kaduna South. Such innovative action by the state government no-doubt introduces great impetus and dimension into the structure and composition of primary school education in the state. Thus, this study intends to reveal the numerous possibilities from such lofty educational invention.
1.4 Significance of the study
The study sought to generate useful information that may be of great value to education policy makers, health officials, teachers and parents at all levels. It is expected to contribute towards the enhancement of feeding programmes for children. The research may also assist the Ministry of Education in improving the feeding programmes in schools nation wide.
1.5 Research Questions
The following questions became pertinent as a guide to expositions in this study:
a) What are the benefits of the Kaduna State Primary School Feeding Programmes on pupils in Kaduna state?
b) How does the Kaduna state Primary Schools Feeding programmes, affects learning in schools?
c) How adequate are the programme towards enhancing learning among primary school pupils in the state?
d) What are the possible suggestions and recommendations towards sustainability of the programme in the state?
1.6 Scope of the Study
The Kaduna state SFP for primary school pupils is in its six month of introduction. This study covers six selected primary schools in Kaduna South Local Government Area (L.G.A.). The schools are:
a)Sheikh GumiL.E.A. Primary (L.E.A) School Tudun Wada.
b)L.E.A. Primary School Kurmin Mashi.
c) L.E.A. Muhammad Kabir Umar Primary School Sabon-Gari.
d)L.E.A. Primary School UngwarMuazu.
e) L.E.A. Primary School Barnawa.
f) L.E.A. Primary School Babban Dodo Kakuri.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Time and finance were the major constraints of this researcher. However efforts were made to ensure the proper administration and collection of the instruments of the research
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