Home » Politics » ZIMBABWE TO SPEND 18 MLN USD ON SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME

HARARE, The Zimbabwe government will spend approximately 18.5 million US dollars this year to provide food to pupils under the national school feeding scheme introduced last year, says Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora.

Initially, the government introduced the school feeding scheme from Early Childhood Development level to Grade Two after concerns were raised over the high number of children who were dropping out of school because of hunger in some parts of the country.

Dokora said the programme was then expanded to cover pupils in Grade Three to Grade Seven in May this year. The calculation of the component of grain requirement to the end of term in December 2017 stands at approximately 18.5 million USD, he said.

Dokora added that the total amount would also include costs to deliver grain to schools countrywide.

There is counterpart support from the communities when they are also expected to chip in with relish supplies on their part.

He said plans were afoot to spread the feeding program to secondary schools by May next year. In the meantime, we are capacitating every rural day school with at least a borehole, a one hectare drip irrigation plot and some solar panels as part of our Public Private Partnership efforts in the sector. It is a burden that we all share, he said.

Dokora said the programme was also being made available in urban areas. When we began school feeding at the infant level last year, the urban sector was excluded, except where there was confirmed hardship. For instance, in the areas in Harare, I can cite the areas in Epworth," he added.

However, Government has since mainstreamed school feeding so that every school now at the levels I have just spoken about should be participating. Where they are not, my system should certainly take the corrective necessary measures so that they are incorporated.

The food situation is expected to improve this year after the country received good rains in the 2016/17 summer cropping season.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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