By Azania Post Reporter
REGIONAL authorities in Kigoma region have been asked to establish primary school feeding programmes in every ward to enable reduce truancy rate and improve education.
Speaking in an interview, an education stakeholder identified as Kasim Majije said notable changes have been seen in areas where the school feeding programme was established.
He said the rate of truancy in those schools has gone down and the number of pupils selected to join secondary schools has also increased.
“I call upon those primary schools which have not established the programme to implement it in collaboration with parents,” he insisted.
According to him, there is a primary school which, before the programme was established its truancy rate was 40 percent.
The truancy rate went down to 18 percent since the feeding programme was introduced at the particular school, he added.
He argued that due to inadequate food in schools, students could not concentrate on studies with empty stomachs hence poor performance.
According to Masozi Nyirenda who is a specialist in education planning, the economics of education and policy studies, school feeding programmes are social safety nets that provide both educational and health benefits to girls, thereby increasing enrollment rates, reducing absenteeism, and avoiding child marriages.
“Beyond improvements in access to food, school feeding programmes also have a positive impact on nutritional status, gender equity, and educational status, each of which contributes to improving overall levels of the country and human development,” he says.
While school meals in Tanzania today are provided by the government, girls who may benefit most from school feeding programs are in low-income villages where parents do not have some reliable incomes.