PS Jwan: School Meals Retain Children in Schools
The Principal Secretary in the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education Dr Julius Jwan has revealed that school meal programmes play an important role in retaining learners in schools.
Speaking at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on the 29th of June 2022 during the validation of the draft of the Kenya School Meals Policy draft by stakeholders of Education, Dr Jwan said that school meals help in keeping children in school and promotes nutrition and good health among them.
According to the PS, there is a policy that will guide the implementation of school meals initiative in institutions of basic education.
Kenya’s World Food Programme (WFP) directors Lauren Landis agreed with PS Jwan’s remarks saying that the School Meals Programme helps to curb hunger among children as well as poverty and multiple forms of malnutrition.
“School meals attract children to school and support their nutrition, learning, health and long-term being,” said Ms Landis.
According to her, school meals are a crucial safety net that supports households and mitigates food security.
She also added that school meals promote gender equity by encouraging girls to attend and graduate from school and hence reduce the possibility of child marriage and early pregnancies.
Ms Landis also acknowledged the efforts of the Government in the school meals program as indicated by increased funding, the establishment of a dedicated School Feeding Unit and a bold move to take over the whole school meals programme.
Even though the government took over the whole funding programme in 2018, WFP has continued providing capacity development and support to national and county governments to boost implementation.
Stakeholders who attended the event came from the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Social protection, Council of Governors, development partners, regional directors and County and Sub-County Directors of Education from various areas targeted for the school meals programme.
The programme is targeting 2.5 million learners in primary schools from 66 sub-counties from Arid and SemiI-Arid Regions and informal settlements.