ONGWEDIVA - About 38 615 primary school learners in Oshana region are benefiting from the government school-feeding programme, regional education director Hileni Amukana has said.
Amukana said the figure is inclusive of all primary school learners in the region.
The region budgets N$4.9 million annually to implement the project.
Speaking in Oshana at the 6th African Day of School Feeding commemoration, Amukana said the date remains important to enforce and strengthen the political will for school feeding on the continent and in particular Namibia.
In Oshana the day was celebrated at Ediva Primary School.
Amukana said the one meal provided at the schools daily is very important for the learners as it attracts them to school, hence it should not be comprised.
“This one meal a day attracts learners to come to school and is often the reason kids go to school in the first place, especially children who are vulnerable or come from children-headed households,” said Amukana.
At the moment, the learners receive maize porridge prepared by volunteering parents, but the director is of the view to diversify the maize blend meal to something better, more attractive and more nutritious.
She said the improved meal can be implemented under the Home Grown School Feeding Initiative (HGSFI) whereby schools will be expected to grow and produce traditional food to support and improve the current feeding programme.
The director said the region has noted with grave concern that during the lockdown due to Covid-19 children missed out on the meal and were literally starving.
“With the improved home-grown school feeding programme, every school will be able to feed children in their communities, even if schools are closed due to any emergencies,” said Amukana.