School feeding programme begins in 5 districts

September 28, 2008 | By Md Shahidul Islam | Reply More
High school girls taking notes. Suapur, Bangladesh.

High school girls taking notes. Suapur, Bangladesh.

School Group Feeding Programme has been introduced in five districts of the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by the year 2010.

The main target of introducing the programme is to reduce number of dropouts in primary schools, ensure quality education, increase number of children in primary schools, combat malnutrition and ensure cent per cent attendance in schools. The World Food Organisation (WFO) in collaboration with the Primary Education Department has been conducting the programme since 2002 that will continue till 2010. Non-government organisation RDRS has been implementing the programme in Kurigram, Gaibandha, Kishoreganj and one hill district.

The NGO sources said, children attending primary schools cannot learn properly as most of them suffer from iodine, iron and vitamin deficiency due to acute malnutrition. Under the programme each student will get 75 grams of biscuits at breakfast time which will provide them with 300 calories of energy that is enough for meeting the demand for nutrition of each student.

After the implementation of the programme a remarkable change has been noticed in the primary schools. A large number of students from poor families has been admitted into schools this year, with 854 per cent attendance every day. The number of dropouts has decreased and the programme is gaining popularity, particularly in ‘Monga’ affected areas. Besides, a very few students are being attacked with seasonal diseases.

Fazley Elahi Tamal, headmaster of Pachgachi Ashrafia Government Primary School, and Khandokar Khairul Anam, headmaster of Shuverkuthi Government Primary School, told this correspondent that the programme had achieved a great success in primary education. Scores of students have overcome malnutrition. WFO should play a vital role to build up social movement for introducing the programme in all the primary schools of the country for achieving cent per cent success in primary education.  Md. Ahmed Hossain, Project Manager of the RDRS, said the food programme should be ensured all over the country in order to achieve the target of MDG. There was a target for achieving 56 per cent attendance in primary schools but the programme has achieved 85 per cent attendance and the percentage is increasing every year.

The District Primary Education Officer (DPEO) Monwara Begum said she had achieved a remarkable improvement in the attendance and nutrition of primary school students which she communicated to the higher authorities through various forums and meetings. To ensure primary education, school feeding programme should be introduced in all the primary schools all over the country, she suggested.

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Category: Knowledge for Development

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