Nakuru County Government has taken the first steps towards implementing a school feeding program by launching a pilot initiative in Njoro sub-county. The program’s primary objective is to enhance children’s concentration levels in classrooms through improved nutrition.

During the launch event, Ms. Zipporah Wambui, the County Executive Committee Member for Education, emphasized the collaborative nature of the program, highlighting the importance of every stakeholder’s involvement in ensuring its success. She reiterated the commitment to fulfill the objectives outlined in Governor Susan Kihika’s manifesto.

The pilot program serves as a platform to engage and inform various key stakeholders, including parents, ECDE teachers, education unions (KEPSHA and KNUT), Ministry of Education officials, NGAO, Public Health representatives, and MCAs. This collective effort aims to foster community ownership and support for the forthcoming School Feeding Program.

Local residents participating in the forum expressed optimism about the county-sponsored feeding program. They highlighted its potential to increase school attendance rates and alleviate the financial burden on parents who struggle to provide daily lunches for their children. The program seeks to address inequity by ensuring that all students have access to nutritious meals regardless of their families’ financial capabilities.

School feeding programs have been endorsed by organizations like UNICEF and nutritionists worldwide due to their positive impact on children’s physical and mental development. A balanced diet enhances their ability to comprehend educational content effectively.

The concept of school feeding programs in Kenya dates back to 1967, with initiatives starting in the central province and parts of Nairobi. The Nyayo milk scheme, introduced later, is renowned for significantly improving education outcomes by increasing enrollment and retention rates in primary schools.

Reflecting on past experiences, Julius Mwaniki, a parent from Molo, reminisced about the enduring success of St. Mary’s Primary School’s feeding program. Initiated by a dedicated headmaster, the program gained widespread parental support and contributed to the school’s reputation for academic excellence in the 1970s and 80s.

As Nakuru County embarks on this school feeding program journey, it seeks to not only enhance educational outcomes but also uplift communities by ensuring equitable access to nutritious meals for all schoolchildren.

Leave a Reply