By Kingsley Madaki
No fewer than 728 cooks have been engaged by the FCT Administration in the ongoing home grown school feeding programme in the territory, as a precautionary measure against food poisoning arising from poor hygiene.
To this end, two cooks were selected to represent each of the six FCT Area Councils, to receive training on maintaining personal and environmental sanitation while the food meant for the targeted group of school children, and then go back to their respective councils to castigate the training down to others, in order to have impact on the programme.
This position was made known at a-one day nationwide documentation and training of cooks on the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, in conjunction with the FCT Administration, anchored by Resource Consultant, Obinna Alexander Onyeocha in Abuja.
According to the FCT Programme manager of the School Feeding programme, Kudu Dangana, the essence of the training was to ensure that the cooks themselves and the food they are cooking are neatly organised so that they don’t give dirty or poisonous food to the pupils.
Dangana noted that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, in conjunction with the FCTA had come out with a policy that people engaged as cooks on the programme must be trained on modern techniques of cooking as well as maintaining proper hygiene.
His words:” The School feeding programme in 2018 started with a sensitisation programme and in 2019 cooks were selected from the six FCT Area Councils. And every cook is expected to feed 150 learners.”
“Why we are here today is mainly on sanitation; to train them on how to maintain the environment and ensure that themselves and the food they are cooking are neatly organized, so that they don’t give dirty or poisonous food to our children in the schools.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in conjunction with the FCTA has come out with a policy that these people must be trained, and because we can’t train them all at the same time, it was decided that let two cooks be selected from each area council, as representatives to receive the training, and then go back to their respective councils to castigate the training down. I believe it will make an impact on the programme.
“We have trained almost 728 cooks in the FCT, and we are still trying to do more, because the essence of school feeding is to achieve four objectives; to increase enrollment in schools, boost nutritional value of pupils, to increase agricultural productivity, and create job opportunities especially those doing nothing in the villages”, he added.