Government plans to expand feeding programme

WINDHOEK, April 2 — Plans are underway to diversify and expand Namibia’s School Feeding Programme to upper phases of education to improve access to education and ensure inclusivity. This, according to Edda Bohn, the director of programme and quality assurance in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
At the moment, school meals are only offered fom pre-primary up to grade seven across the country.
“The maiden Namibia School Feeding Programme policy draft, submitted to cabinet for debate, incorporates the provision of expansion to upper phases of education and diversification of the school feeding programme meals,” Bohn said.

The ministry is, in the meantime conducting an assessment on the nutritional needs of learners in upper phases of formal education, to ensure the provision of appropriate meals upon implementation.

“In terms of the diversification of nutrition, the government also plans to draw on the home-grown strategy, to further benefit smallholder farmers who will supply ingredients,” she added.

The Namibia School Feeding Programme was jointly introduced by the World Food Programme and Ministry of Education in 1991 to provide educational and health benefits to vulnerable children, to increase enrolment rates, reduce absenteeism, and improve academic performance.
A total of 377,521 learners currently benefit from the school feeding programme. – XINHUA