Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT is set to extend the schools feeding scheme to secondary schools in line with the country’s education policy to improve school attendance and completion rates.The feeding scheme is meant to keep learners in class while improving nutrition.
Government introduced the feeding scheme in 2016 starting with infants but it was later extended up to Grade Seven. The introduction of the schools feeding programme is in line with the African Union 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 homegrown 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 Government launched the feeding scheme.During the commemorations, held at Josiah Chinamano Primary School in Emakhandeni suburb, 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 underway to introduce the schools feeding programme up to high school.
She said the programme is 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.
Dr Ndlovu said Government should also ensure that the food is secured in schools as cases have been reported that some school staff were looting the foods to feed their families. — @nqotshili