The First Lady and minister of Education and Sports, Janet Kataha Museveni has of recent been carrying out a country wide campaign to encourage parents to feed their children at school.
The number of struggling families sending their children to school hungry has greatly increased in the recent years and this happens in the primary schools.
Children turn up for school without having had any meal at home and this happens everyday of their life.
Not only do these children turn up hungry but they are still not sure of having any meal when they retire home after school. This problem has increased as the poverty levels continue to raise in Uganda.
Most parents in Uganda can’t afford education for their children, not sure about meals for their families therefore sensitising them about providing food for children at school is something i would say is detached from reality.
Most of these parents have hired out or sold out their land which means they barely have anywhere to grow food for their families and this is a fact, most have fallen prey to sugarcane growers.
It’s important to note that going to school on an empty stomach has a great impact on a child’s ability to concentrate, behave and learn while at school.
And this affects the overall performance at the end. But what would you expect from a child who is not sure about when his/her next meal will be.
This happens in government sponsored schools. Such facts should have compelled the ministry of education to put in place measures that would ensure children at least are assured of a meal at school, either a cup of porridge or a plate of posho and beans at lunch time.
It’s not intentional that parents send children to school hungry, they only cannot afford to feed them.
Most of the parents who send children to Universal Primary Education funded schools can’t afford education for these kids and neither can they afford to feed them well. Many if not all parents wish they could actually afford.
This should be shocking to government or the relevant ministry that so many children are going to school hungry and this is because most them come from families living below the poverty line or call the them those below 1$ a day.
Such findings should have reminded the government that alot more must be done to help Ugandans/families living in absolute poverty. A great number of such families can only afford a meal a day.
Some of these parents we are asking to feed children at school actually skip a meal so that their children can eat.
Such families can barely afford even the least basic needs at home like just a piece of soap and I predict this problem will greatly worsen as poverty continues to bite hard on ordinary Ugandans.
The ministry of education has not laboured to carryout research to find out the challenges affecting children attending government schools.
Have they taken time to find out why their schools are always the worst performing, have high levels school dropout etc.
Most of the children in these schools are from poor families or backgrounds and such poverty stricken children can not concentrate at school.
These kids have just so much to worry about than just carrying food to school. Some of them even barely have shelter over their heads and you think they are worried about not carrying food to school, some even come from families that have been displaced by land grabbers and such families have no where to grow food.
These children have low confidence and behavioural issues which also affects Performance.
Government should embrace a school feeding program to enable poor children get something to eat while at school as they are not sure of eating when they retire home.
It’s not true that government doesn’t have money to feed our children at school but it has just failed to prioritise, if Corruption is tackled we would have enough left to help feed our children at school.
Parents are poor and can’t afford to provide food for kids at school.