CUSHIONING LEARNERS

Garissa, Tana River partner with WFP to offer free school meals

More than 26% of school-going children in Kenya are affected by malnutrition — UNICEF

In Summary
  • Garissa deputy director of Education Ahmed Adan said the meals will improve enrolment and retain learners in ECDEs and lower primary.
  • The programme also aims to tackle the reluctance of parents taking their children to school instead of having them look after livestock.
Education officials from Garissa and Tana River counties during a three-day training on the management of Early Childhood Development Education meal prorgrammes at a Garissa hotel on Saturday, June 11.
CUSHIONING LEARNERS: Education officials from Garissa and Tana River counties during a three-day training on the management of Early Childhood Development Education meal prorgrammes at a Garissa hotel on Saturday, June 11.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Garissa and Tana River counties have partnered with World Food Programme to provide free meals to ECDE learners.

The feeding programme aims to cushion learners from poor families against malnutrition due to perennial droughts and economic hardships. 

Education officials from the two counties on Saturday started a three-day training on the management of Early Childhood Development Education meal prorgrammes at a Garissa hotel.

Garissa deputy director of Education Ahmed Adan said the meals will improve enrolment and retain learners in ECDEs and lower primary.

“A strong foundation is important for our young ones. It is important to ensure that as they continue with their studies, they are served with balanced diets and their stomachs are full,” he said.

Education officials from Garissa and Tana River counties during a three-day training on the management of Early Childhood Development Education meal prorgrammes at a Garissa hotel on Saturday, June 11.
STRONG FOUNDATION: Education officials from Garissa and Tana River counties during a three-day training on the management of Early Childhood Development Education meal prorgrammes at a Garissa hotel on Saturday, June 11.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

According to a 2020 UNICEF report, malnutrition affects more than 26 per cent of school-going children in Kenya and contributes to immediate and long-term developmental and health challenges.

The training supported by WFP set out guidelines for the provision of food to ECDE centres.

It also imparted in the Trainers of Trainees the guidelines on school feeding and nutrition interventions, that would increase access to meals and improve dietary diversity in the ECDE centres.

The programme also aims to tackle the reluctance of parents taking their children to school instead of having them look after livestock.

Josephine Mutuku from UNICEF during the workshop with education officials from Garissa and Tana river counties on Saturday, June 11.
ACCESS TO EDUCATION: Josephine Mutuku from UNICEF during the workshop with education officials from Garissa and Tana river counties on Saturday, June 11.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Tana River Education executive Abas Kunyo, senior WFP officials and ECDE subcounty coordinators from Tana River and Garissa counties were in attendance.

Last month, Garissa partnered with the Kenya Literature Bureau to provide ECDE and TVET learning materials.

Governor Ali Korane welcomed the partnership saying it will improve learning at the lower levels.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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