Ethiopia: School Feeding Reduces Dropouts

The Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ State Education Bureau said that the school feeding program has reduced dropouts and improved teaching learning process as well.

The Bureau Head Dr.Eshetu Kebede told The Ethiopia Herald that due to natural disaster and household food insecurity,the rate of learning interruption and the number of school dropouts were high ,however, ever since the beginning of school feeding ,the mentioned problems have been drastically reduced,he added.

According to him, the school feeding program mainly focuses on pre and elementary schools found in drought prone areas and climatically fragile places as most school dropouts have been registered there.

“There are 6,790 schools in the state and those schools that are highly vulnerable are categorized in four stages . In each school day ,all students will get 150 gram food for once.”

According to the head,the nutritional and health aspects of the food provided to the students is supervised by the health bureau because their cognitive development is highly attached to what they eat.

Eshetu also said the school feeding program has brought good opportunity to farmers as they are the ones who are providing food to school.

More importantly, farmers unions supply processed food and this by itself has created opportunities for the emergence of food and beverage industries,he noted.

It was learnt that World Food Program, the state bureaus of Agriculture and Natural Resources,Health,Water, Irrigation and Energy as well as Disaster and Drought Prevention Authority have been involving actively in such program. Currently 107,000 students benefit from the program in 47 schools.

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