By Jude Kafuuma
THE education ministry is negotiating with the World Food Programme how to feed children under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme.
Education minister Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire said talks were underway to come up with a policy on mid-day meals in schools.
â€œThe President spear-headed the move,â€ she said.
Bitamazire made the remarks on Tuesday while meeting the parliamentary social services committee to discuss the ministryâ€™s budget for the 2009/2010 financial year.
The MPs recommended that the ministry examines the conditions across the country to package a suitable policy.
The committee said the parents and the beneficiary schools should agree on the implementation of the policy.
The current policy states that parents should provide a mid-day meal for their children.
â€œThis is a contentious issue that involves all concerned citizens of Uganda. The ministry will not come up with a national policy before consulting the affected schools and parents,â€ Bitamazire said.
During this yearâ€™s National Womenâ€™s Day celebrations in Mayuge district, President Yoweri Museveni called upon Ugandans with ideas on feeding children in schools to contact his office.
During the same meeting, Kasilo MP Elijah Okupa stunned the committee when he challenged the minister to explain the issue of school head teachers failing to account for funds.
He cited the head teacher of Kamod Secondary School in Soroti district, who allegedly embezzled over sh10m but had not been apprehended.
The MP said since April, the head teacher had dodged management meetings where he was supposed to account for the money.
â€œThis man has misappropriated the school funds. He appears drunk all the time,â€ Okupa said.
â€œAs a concerned citizen I reported the matter to the Inspector General of Government and the education ministry but up to now nothing has been done,â€ he added.
The MPs told the minister to have the head teacher arrested. Bitamazire responded by saying the ministry was handling the case.