The downward trends in both the quality of students and the environment of many educational facilities in Nigeria is very alarming, especially in northern Nigeria. This fall in quality has affected teaching standards, infrastructure and the enabling environment for instruction and learning. There is also the serious issue of nutritional deficit in students feeding in the boarding schools across the state. These challenges can only be tackled through a multi-stakeholder approach that will bring in people from government, communities, CSOs and NGOs to collectively join hands to salvage these overwhelming challenges.
It is in realization of these and the funding challenges confronting most governments that this programme, “Schools Empowerment and Nutritional Supplementation through Agriculture (SENSA)” was conceived by Her Excellency Dr. Amina Abubakar S. Bello the Wife of the Governor through the Association of Female Appointees and Wives of Niger State Officials (AFAWNSO). It involves the re-introduction, in each school of the selected Schools Gardening System through simple Vegetable Farming, planting of about 90 fruit trees and 45 shades trees. To also add value to the regular visitations to these schools, there will also be “Life-skills” training seminars for students and staff. These are all aimed at achieving improvement in students’ nutrition and environmental quality.
To supplement the long-term impact and sustainability of the agricultural and environmental part of this programme, the initiation of an annual school Principals Environmental Legacy Project (PELP) competition was recommended for the client to consider.