Education Ministry Ponders on Future of 'Effective' School Feeding Program
The school feeding program, where children access porridge before classes in some schools in Malawi, has proven effective in encouraging children to attend school. But it is a donor-funded program whose future is bleak when the donors withdraw.
But the government of Malawi says it is now exploring ways and means of ensuring sustainability of the program to maintain high enrollment and reduced absenteeism.
Education minister, Dr. William Susuwere-Banda, said this Thursday in Salima when a delegation from the Norway visited Chapita Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Kambwiri, a beneficiary of Joint Program on Girls Education.
Learners at Chapita Primary School also benefit from the school feeding program.
Dr. Susuwere-Banda acknowledged evidence of increased enrollment and reduced absenteeism as well as reduced dropout rate in schools benefiting on this program.
“We have support from the Norwegian Government at this school, for example, and the question is, what will be the way forward when the Norwegian government has withdrawn? So we need to begin to explore (available) possibilities,” he said.
Through Joint Program on Girls Education, implemented by different partners and the ministries of Health and Education, the schools are provided with supplies to facilitate provision of meals for learners purchased from farmer within communities.
Visiting Director General of Norwegian Foreign Affairs ministry, Katja Nordgaard, has expressed satisfaction at the strides toward promotion of girls’ education. She said the Norwegian government would continue supporting the program.
“Health and Education ministries coming together is very important and the focus to make sure that girls remain in school, is very good. We are very committed to supporting interventions on education, Health and climate related issues,” she said.