WINDHOEK - Education deputy minister Anna Nghipondoka launched the Namibian school feeding policy on Friday.
The launch follows the approval of the policy by cabinet in March this year.
Nghipondoka said that the main goal of the school feeding policy is to provide quality access to all children, and quality learning and education for all children in Namibia.
She said the school feeding policy ensures that school feeding is an important safety net that addresses hunger particularly for food-insecure households, as well as the health and nutrition of learners through the delivery of a diversified nutritious diet that provides to their ability to focus in class.
“Today, we mark yet another milestone in the education sector, one intended to ensure that our children do not study on an empty stomach, one that ensures that our children concentrate better in class and their nutrition is improved through the consumption of nutritious food – particularly for learners from food-insecure households,” remarked Nghipondoka. The deputy minister said the school feeding programme has quadrupled under the education ministry, reaching over 370 000 learners in 1 400 schools in all 14 regions of Namibia from 78 000 in 1996. Nghipondoka said that in the long term, school feeding has the potential to contribute positively to strengthening the human development capacity of the nation by improving the education level of the population, thereby increasing their chances of attaining rewarding employment and significantly reducing socio-economic disparities.
Nghipondoka said the ministry will coordinate the management and implementation of the Namibian school feeding programme while working in close collaboration with sister ministries, the private sector, civil society, regional councils, UN agencies, schools and communities.
In addition, Nghipondoka said Namibia is among other countries that have adopted a school feeding policy with an overarching goal of refining approaches and quality of education delivered by a decentralised feeding programme.
She said to accomplish this, the ministry of education together with the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) is advancing with the designing of a home-grown plan to diversify school meals from the current fortified maize.
She said this is to safeguard that a relationship is created between the programme and smallholder farmers.
UNWFP country director Bai Mankay Sankoh, in his speech read on his behalf by Elvis Odeke, said the notion that no child should be in school on an empty stomach is clearly a goal that UNWFP, the ministry of education and indeed stakeholders in the education sector are determined to achieve for the Namibian child.
Odeke said the school feeding programme is one of the vehicles that contributes towards the achievement of the vision of education for all.
Odeke further congratulated the Namibian government for the outstanding achievements they have made in growing and strengthening their school feeding programme.
“A programme that has evolved to reach over 75% of learners in all pre-primary and primary schools in Namibia,” remarked Odeke.
2019-10-21 06:37:22 | 11 months ago