Every 24th of January marks the celebration of the international day of education. A successful education system is meant to be inclusive, covering even the disadvantaged and marginalized,
the poor, the discriminated against, girls, and those facing multiple disadvantages. Nigeria has struggled with a debilitated education system for decades now. Statistics show that one in every five children out of school reside in Nigeria (UNICEF, 2013), with girls making a larger percentage of children not in school. This we see often during our frequent school feeding program. Uneducated children are unable to break the cycle of poverty, meaning the next generation will most likely continue the cycle if proactive measures are not taken.
It is not a mere coincidence that Lagos Food Bank decided to kick start its school feeding program(EDUFOOD) in 2019. We all know the importance of education in the nation’s building and as a food bank, we have been contributing our quota to improving school enrollment, retention, and cognitive abilities of school-aged children. Our focus is low-cost private schools where students pay an average of 100naira per day and are not covered by any form of government-funded feeding program. Through this program, we are able to relieve their parents of the burden of providing school lunch which would otherwise have cost them a reasonable amount compared to the daily fee they pay.
In addition, via our resilience programs, Family Farming and Job Placement Programs, we tackle one of the enhancers of low school enrollment which is poverty. Oftentimes when education is
greatly subsidized, parents are unable to send their children to school due to unaffordable secondary costs of schooling which sometimes include school meals.
The celebration of the international day of education is led by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It aims to showcase the most important changes that have
to be made to realize everyone’s fundamental right to education and build a more sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful future. Even if we are in a country that fails to recognize this, we can in
our little way contribute to improving the quality of education and school enrollment.