Education Ministry’s School Feeding Programme pushes to achieve SDGs

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, February 22, 2018

In an effort to develop an agenda to fight hunger and malnutrition, the Ministry of Education (MoE) with the continued support from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and other stakeholders have successfully implemented its School Feeding Program.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Vibert Welch, during an address at the recently held national dialogue workshop on the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Regional Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean workshop, highlighted the intention of the Ministry as it pertains to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the effort made.

Permanent Secretary (PS) Vibert Welch making a presentation at the FAO Regional Conference.

“Our ultimate goal is to eradicate hunger, overweight and obesity, put an end to rural poverty, promote climate resilience subsistence agriculture and promote a new FAO to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Hence at the Ministry of Education, we recognise that children need the energy to concentrate and enjoy school as a consequence, therefore, our school feeding programme has emerged as a major initiative for our student’s wellbeing.” Welch said.

Cognisant of the reality of hunger becoming an epidemic, the Ministry has been working assiduously, in coordination with other agencies, to improve the situation. The programme features four parts:

The year 2009 saw the introduction of the Juice and Biscuit programme, which covers all nursery students along with students from Grades One and Two located at coastal schools.

In Region Nine, Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo, the Peanut Butter and Cassava Bread programme, which covers students for 192 days a year, was implemented in 2005.

The Hinterland Community-Based School Feeding Programme which caters for 165 schools from Regions One, Seven Eight and Nine and benefits approximately 22,475 students commenced in 2006.

In 2016, the Breakfast Programme was piloted in Georgetown, the East Coast and Region Three, catering to students in Nursery and Primary schools.

The objectives of the school feeding programme include building more community participation in schools and improving children’s human development outcomes, such as student enrollment and attendance, nutritional status and learning outcomes. Consequently, the programme has tackled unemployment and underemployment.

 

By: Stephon Gabriel

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