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Govt to extend feeding scheme to secondary schools

by Staff Reporter
04 Mar 2020 at 07:31hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT is set extend the schools feeding scheme to secondary schools in line with the education policy to improve school attendance and completion rates.

The feeding scheme seeks to keep learners in class while improving nutrition.

Government introduced the feeding scheme in 2016, starting with infants before it was later extended up to Grade Seven.

The introduction of the feeding programme is in line with the African Union (AU) resolution to promote inclusive education by providing meals at school.

During the 26th AU Summit in January 2016, the Heads of States decided to adopt home-grown school feeding programmes as a continental strategy to enhance retention and performance of children in schools and to boost income generation and entrepreneurship in local communities.
The decision saw March 1 being declared "Africa Day for School Feeding".

Yesterday, Bulawayo Province commemorated four years since the Government launched the feeding scheme.

During the commemorations, held at Josiah Chinamano Primary School in Emakhandeni, there were performances by pupils showing the effects of attending lessons while hungry that include sleeping in class and failure to concentrate. Addressing parents, teachers and pupils during the event, Bulawayo acting provincial education director Mrs Ollicah Kaira said modalities were under way to introduce the school feeding programme up to high school.

"The Ministry (of Primary and Secondary Education) is now working towards the third phase (of school feeding) where it will be introduced at secondary school level. Why the school feeding programme? Is it really necessary? One would ask.

"The home-grown school feeding programme has been adopted by the Government of Zimbabwe as a strategy to ensure optimal enrolment, improve school attendance, retention and completion rates. It is envisaged that it will enhance learning outcomes and achieve positive nutrition and health outcomes for all," said Mrs Kaira.

She said the programme was anchored on home-grown solutions meaning schools have to depend on what they can easily produce or provide at cheaper costs. The Government supports the initiative through providing grain and parents chip in with the relish.

Parents and guardians cook for the children ensuring the successful implementation of the programme. At Josiah Chinamano Primary School children are fed porridge, mahewu, as well as sadza with beans, vegetables or meat.

Mrs Kaira said communities should take ownership of the feeding programme as it can also benefit them.

Source - Chronicle