Ministry of Education permanent secretary Henry Tukombe
Ministry of Education permanent secretary Henry Tukombe

A PROGRAMME of providing food to pupils is set to be implemented throughout the country following its first-class performance in 38 piloted districts and 2,700 pre- and primary school learners.

The school meals programme was launched as a pilot project on the back of several research findings that suggested that lack of food was widely responsible for the poor enrollment levels as parents used their children for economic activities.

Ministry of Higher Education permanent secretary Henry Tukombe said this in Lusaka on Friday during a workshop to evaluate the impact of the school feeding programme in Lusaka.

“This programme will not only promote national food security but more importantly, contribute to national food and nutrition security leading to poverty alleviation,” Mr Tukombe said.

The programme is financed and implemented by Government, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the European Union and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Mr Tukombe said the school feeding programme has improved school attendance for a larger percentage of pupils who stayed away from school on account of hunger.

The programme involves parents in the catchment areas producing food which is sold to schools and given to pupils for free to enhance performance.

“In this way, the majority of our people who earn their living through agriculture will be able to access a market for their produce, thereby improving not only their individual household productivity but also local economy,” Mr Tukombe said.

Mr Tukombe said the Government will prioritise the school feeding programme because it fits within the Patriotic Front (PF) pro-poor policy.

Mr Tukombe said Government and development partners will know the impact of investing in pupils.

Ministry of Agriculture permanent secretary Julius Shawa said the agriculture sector will continue to play its role of ensuring that the programme succeeds because it enhances agriculture by providing ready market for the suppliers of agricultural produce to schools.

He said social protection interventions such as school feeding programme and agriculture scaling up programme are very important and need the support of all stakeholders.

Mr Shawa said the evaluation of the pilot programme should help Government and its development partners to address challenges for future interventions.

FAO country representative George Okechi said the programme has potential to stimulate economic growth in future through the expansion of land for production of food for supply to schools.

He said the launch of the evaluation should help with the necessary tools to respond to the needs of the pupils and school authorities.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. They need FAO , the EU and world bank to feed their children but are spending $200,000 on consultations to pay allawances for caders to withdraw from ICC !!!.

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    • My mother bought some bread the other day and yet when I asked her for some money she told me that she did not have the money for my needs. I became very annoyed with her actions but quickly realized that she wanted to feed us all and no just meeting my individual needs. I felt relived and happy!

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    • Great move! More must be done though in other areas! Still great move we need it to be implemented as soon as possible! This has been done in other countries with amazing success both in improving nutrition for the kids as well as in encouraging the parents to send their kids to school.

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    • Feed them children! There will be no dropouts. Don’t forget chibwantu in HH strongholds.

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  2. What ? Feeding them salt under useless pf. By the way Can the pf chaps explain the video circulating of two pf cadres busy poking each other in the matak0. They are dressed in pf regalia. Am sure that is ndanje kikiki he has been posting about wanting gays to be recognised and his gay partner. Dirty chaps

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    • When they were dancing dununa reverse, what message do you think they were sending? The result is what you see now…ama guys baledununa imisula.

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  3. During my school days we’re given milk, a bun and milk biscuits at break time. I don’t remember how this died out.

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    • ndanje bro; it died out with Kaunda; even i benifitted from his free education may God bless his soul;

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  4. Is it a good programme? Yes. Will it lead to improved school enrollment? Probably Yes. Is it the best way to sort out the problem? Definitely No.

    This is just like smearing water on the leaves and expecting the plant to grow. We need to ensure the plant grows by providing water and other nutrients to the roots. Let us learn to address problems by addressing the root cause: Inadequate Economic Activities or a lack thereof. Joblessness and the high cost of living.

    In this case, I would expect that we look at ways in which we can provide the parents with stable and meaningful income so that they in-turn can provide food for their children and afford to send their children to school. Industrialization is what will ultimately improve the livelihoods of us Zambians and will improve the…

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    • …child enrollment into schools as well as increase the levels of education in the country. Once people realize the value that education will bring on their children through provision of skilled employment or entrepreneurial opportunities, they will send their children to school.

      Whilst such programs may be “quick fixes” to the problem, let us not leave out addressing the root cause. I’d be more delighted to read about various programs aimed at addressing the root cause which will be complemented, in the short term by this feeding program.

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    • @David Mutale, some parents spend more money on beer than on their children. It’s a difficult for some parents on whether to by a bag of maize meal or spend the 100kwacha on castle lager ..That’s why the colonial government used to give mealie meal, kapenta, saladi, beans, rice to miners because we lack responsibility.

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    • @Ndanje khakis: The fact that it was done before doesn’t necessarily make it right. Perhaps one should question its sustainability and why it was stopped in the first place. Another perspective one should look at is what kind of culture it inculcated in us. That of being handed free things and not the ability to provide those things for our selves. If a foundation of HARDWORK and not HANDOUT was developed at that time, we would not be rejoicing over a programme that quick-fixes our problems and today we would have more responsible parents. But its not too late. Lets develop that culture now! Those that are irresponsible will eventually learn to be responsible.

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  5. KK stopped it because it was “dehumanizing ” My main point is PEOPLE HAVE MONEY BUT WOULD RATHER SPEND IT BEER THAN SCHOOL REQUIREMENTS.

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  6. It is the most logical thing to do, our children especially from poor families just take a knock and performance at school is poor.
    I remember when in sub A 1961 .
    We from poor families suffered rudely though we still stack around to pass in class it was not easy, wouldn’t like children continue as was the case.

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  7. Very good move. I remember when I was at Lusaka Enfants and Lusaka Girls, we used to get a free pint of Milk everyday at break times. Lunches are really good for concentration needed for the long school hours.

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  8. Good idea but you guys are funny. We are currently struggling to feed boarding school kids who actually pay for the meals, and now you are talking about feeding everyone?

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