Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Impact of Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (OMEALS) on the Enrolment and Retention of Rural Primary School Pupils in Osun State, Nigeria

Version 1 : Received: 19 November 2021 / Approved: 26 November 2021 / Online: 26 November 2021 (10:08:06 CET)

How to cite: Olajubutu, D.; Adebayo, B.; Olajubutu, O. Impact of Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (OMEALS) on the Enrolment and Retention of Rural Primary School Pupils in Osun State, Nigeria. Preprints 2021, 2021110496 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0496.v1). Olajubutu, D.; Adebayo, B.; Olajubutu, O. Impact of Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (OMEALS) on the Enrolment and Retention of Rural Primary School Pupils in Osun State, Nigeria. Preprints 2021, 2021110496 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202111.0496.v1).

Abstract

School Feeding Programmes are social safety net interventions providing educational and health benefits to vulnerable children in developing countries. This study assessed the impact of Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O-MEALS) on the enrolment and retention of rural primary schools in Osun State. Multi stage sampling technique was used to select 188 respondents while data was collected through interview schedule. Percentages, Chi-square, PPMC and T-test were used for data analysis. Findings revealed that over half (51.6%) of the respondents were male, aged 9.38 ± 1.84 years and majority (83.0%) had a family size of 6-10 people. Food incentives (=1.25), health challenge (=0.69), and peer influence (=0.67) were major factors affecting school attendance. More than half (53.2%) of the respondents had unfavourable perception towards the school feeding programme. Results showed a significant difference between pupils’ enrolment (t = 5.332, p = 0.006) and retention rate (t = 58.386, p = 0.000) before and after the commencement of O-MEALS. Furthermore, pupils’ enrolment and retention (r = 0.993, p = 0.001) after the commencement of O-MEALS was significantly related. Food incentive was a major factor affecting school attendance, which fostered an improvement in the poor enrolment and retention previously experienced. Since a good number of the pupils possessed unfavourably perception towards the school feeding programme, it was recommended that effective monitoring be established to checkmate food vendors’ activities in delivering quality and satisfactory services. Likewise, the Government’s policies on school restructuring and levy, which had proved counterproductive, should be reviewed.

Keywords

School feeding programme; Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme (O-MEALS); enrolment and retention; rural pupils; primary schools

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