“Government has declared 2018 a year of action on school feeding and nutrition," the state minister for higher education, John Chrysestom Muyingo, says.
PIC: Minister Muyingo addressing pupils of Kololo Senior Secondary School during the commemoration of the African Day of School Feeding on Thursday. (Credit: Nancy Nanyonga)
HEALTH | EDUCATION
KAMPALA - Uganda joined the African Union to mark the African Day of School Feeding on Thursday.
Marked every March 1, the day marks the continent’s commitment to mobilising an enabling environment for school feeding policymaking and governance.
The African Day of School Feeding was instituted by the Assembly of heads of state and government during the 26th African Union Summit in January 2016.
According to the state minister for higher education, John Chrysestom Muyingo, the move was set aside in recognition of the immense value of home-grown school feeding.
“It is aimed at enhancing retention and improving the performance of children in school and in boosting generation and entrepreneurship in local communities,” Muyingo said.
He added that the decision brought hope and renewed political commitment to keeping school feeding high in governments’ political agenda.
During the celebrations at Kololo SSS in Kampala on Thursday, the minister revealed that recent statistics show that about 66% of school children do not eat food at school, yet they are expected to spend most of their time of the day in school.
“Government has declared 2018 a year of action on school feeding and nutrition. I have personally taken it upon myself to spearhead a national awareness and mobilisation campaign on school feeding and nutrition,” Muyingo said.
Kololo SSS head teacher Edward Kanoonya said since compulsory feeding was introduced, health and hunger-related visits to the school sick bay significantly reduced.
“The health of the students has improved, students’ discipline greatly improved and students’ attendance and completion rates improved,” he said.
Robinson Nsumba-Lyazi, the director of Basic and Secondary Education, said parents-led school feeding encompasses participation and provision of home-packed food and other forms of contributions.
“We have developed a roadmap of activities, including analysis of the school feeding situation and mobilising the entire country on the need to ensure that all schools have feeding programmes for their children,” he explained.