Schools feeding now a permanent feature
PRIMARY and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora has said the schools feeding scheme is now a permanent feature to enable pupils from poor families to concentrate on their lessons.
Government initiated the feeding scheme in schools after poor rains affected harvests in the past farming season.
Pupils were reportedly dropping out of school because of hunger especially in areas that were hard hit by drought.
Dr Dokora made the announcement last Friday while opening a new science laboratory at Johanne Masowe Vadzidzi VaJesu Church Mission in Shamva, Mashonaland East Province.
“The feeding programme we introduced is not only because we are experiencing drought throughout the country, but this is becoming a permanent thing in the education system of Zimbabwe. This is not going to stop,” he said.
Dr Dokora said the feedback the ministry was getting from parents was encouraging as it showed the feeding scheme had improved performance by pupils.
He said parents had pledged to support the programme.
“Parents are testifying positively on the feeding programme saying children were attending school as they are well fed and learn with a fresh mind,” said Dr Dokora.
He challenged schools to invest in agricultural projects to assist in feeding pupils.
“I urge school authorities to offer agricultural activities at schools. At least 20 percent of the produce should be added to the feeding scheme and benefit the pupils,” he said.
The Minister also urged schools to dig ponds and engage in fish farming.
He said this would help provide a balanced diet for children.