The Minister of Education Janet Museveni last week concluded her nation-wide “school feeding and nutritional campaign” on sensitising the parents on the importance of nutritional feeding to school-going children. She cited poor feeding as one of the reasons for poor performance in primary schools.
Just last week in my district of Mbale, RDC James Shiruku also announced that he will be embarking on a region-wide campaign to emphasise the ministers message. Mbale, in particular, was among the worst performing districts in the previous Primary Leaving Examinations, registering 18.7 per cent failures. The RDC announced this during a council meeting of approving the new budget for the financial year 2018/2019 at the Mbale District Administration Hall.
I agree with Janet and strongly support Mr Shiruku’s proposal of sensitising parents on the benefits of providing nutritional feeding to their school-going children. Truly an empty stomach results in a dull brain.
However, government should roll out a double-sided campaign aimed at benefitting both teachers and pupils. Teachers should not be left out of this campaign as this would imply no work done. Imagine having a well-fed pupil being taught by a hungry teacher.
I have known several schools in rural Mbale where teachers have nothing to eat the whole day. This seems to be one of the reasons there is delayed learning because teachers performance tend to be affected by hunger.
These hungry and frustrated teachers are one of the reasons why we sometimes hear about corporal punishment being applied in schools.
I have also known a primary school teacher who treks eight miles every morning to work and retires late at 5pm. In that primary school, feeding is on individual ability, now imagine, a whole day at work where there is no guarantee of a meal, what else would motivate these dear teachers, to remain committed to their roles.
My humble appeal to the minister is considering not only the school-going children but also the teachers in her nutritional and feeding campaign, good feeding at schools will also motivate the teachers to be committed at work full time.