Osun State's Transition Strategy Sign Off

PCD board member Uwem Esiet shakes hands with deputy governor for Osun State Otunba Titilayo Laoye-Tomori at the Transition Strategy Plan sign off in Osun State

A ceremony was held on November 22 seeing the official sign-off by the Osun State Government on its Elementary School Feeding Transition Strategy Plan (TSP).

The TSP document was developed at the request of the State Government to strengthen the capacity needed to implement the state's school feeding programme effectively; to benefit schoolchildren as well as smallholder farmers.

It is the result of a joint analysis led by the Ministry of Education, Schools Feeding and Health Programme Unit and the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with Ministry of Health, the Partnership for Child Development (PCD) and its development partners. 

At the ceremony Osun State Deputy Governor, Otunba Titilayo Laoye-TomoriPCD Nigeria Programmes Manager, Abimbola Adesanmi and PCD Board Member Uwem Esiet came together to oversee the signing. 

The Osun State, Nigeria Home Grown School Feeding programme (known as the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O’MEALS)) was re-launched in the state on April 30 2012, which had originally been piloted in 13 states across Nigeria in May 2006, as part of the country’s Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme (HGSFHP). 

Since its re-launch the Osun State pilot immediately saw food delivered to 1,378 primary schools in Osun. This provision of free school meals works towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those focused on Education.  

One of the objectives of the O’Meals programme is to increase enrolment and retention of pupils in schools. It is aimed at improving the nutritional and health status of pupils. It is also aimed at reducing poverty and stimulating development of small and medium scale enterprises.

Since the programme was launched, it has impacted positively on school enrolment with an increase of approximately 38,000 pupils going to school; representing a 25% increment after only four weeks of its introduction. 

A total of 58,540 pupils were projected to enrol as new entrants to primary level one across the state in the current academic session. However, data collected after four weeks of the school term in October 2012, revealed that a total of 86,851 pupils enrolled as new entrants in primary level one across the State. There have also been low and minimal incidences of absenteeism in schools as compared with the period before the start of the O’Meals. 

Plans are currently being made to increase the number of pupils benefiting from the programme to over 252,793 pupils from 194,253 pupils in primary level four. 

The O’MEALS Programme has also helped to improve the production capacities of local produce, particularly poultry farmers and beef suppliers, who supply the protein contents of the school menu. The farmers in Osun are involved in all the components of the food menu and this has led to increased prosperity for smallholder farmers.

The programme is thus far an example of best practice in providing a win-win for children and local livelihoods through the provision of school meals for improved school health and nutrition locally sourced from smallholder farmers.  

Download the Transition Strategy Plan Document

Read more press on the Osun State Sign Off in the Osun Defender.  

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