Food programme improves school enrollment in Chivi rural

TEACHERS in Chivi central Masvingo province have applauded the government for implementing food programme in schools saying the number of pupils enrolling in schools has since improved.

By Staff Reporter

The teachers said the children were feeding on wild berries and having one meal a day in the hunger stricken province. The Home Grown School Feeding Programme was launched in 2016 as one of the direct interventions in the health of learners making schools places of promoting education and nutrition.

Jaka Primary school headmaster, Pfuurai Chimbunde, in a n interview said following the introduction of the programme at his school attendance has improved.

“You will note that even our pass rate improved from 37% in 2016 to 43,7% last year. The number of children now coming to school has also increased, we used to have just over 200 children but now we have 373 students.

Attendance has really improved because of the food programme, “he said.”
Chimbunde was speaking during an event to receive food, clothing and stationery from an organisation Tzu Chi Foundation which is headed by Chin-Chai Chu. The organisation donated 400kg of rice, beans, stationery as well as clothes for the school children at Jaka and Matawa primary school.

Other three schools in the area benefitted last year and the organisation is moving around vulnerable areas in the country complementing the food programme among other projects.

Matawa primary school Headmaster, Steven Vongai said they received four new students after it was announced that the foundation would be donating food.

According to some villagers who spoke to this reporter, most of the children in their area rely on one meal a day.

They peasant farmers said farming is not thriving due to climate changes and also considering that Chivi is in the dry region.

Chivi Councillor for ward 20, Julias Gurajena thanked the government and Tzu Chi Foundation for extending a helping hand saying the children in his area now prefer staying in school since they are being fed.

Children in the area are given sadza, rice and beans every day.

“School feeding does not only fill the stomach but has proven record of boosting enrolment rates, attendance and learning,” he said.

The food programme was launched in 2016 following researches that established that it improves learner’s ability to concentrate and participate in school events.

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