Fri, 24 May, 2024

School Feeding Program in Nepal

By Dipesh Poudel

School Feeding Program (SFP) is one of the current policy interventions for developing world to reduce child malnutrition and increase school attendance. In this program, government provides food supply that has all the nutrients necessary for a child’s growth. This program is usually implemented in primary and pre-primary schools. The theoretical concept of this program is to reduce hunger and malnutrition and bring children in the mainstream of education.

It is a fact that education is a strong weapon to fight against poverty which is the cause of a lot of problems. As the saying goes, children must be healthy in order to be educated, and children must be educated in order to stay healthy. Nepal government understood this well and under assistance of WFP (World Food Program) started the first phase of  SFP in 2002-2006 in 21 food deficit districts of Far- Western and Mid-Western regions. The main objective of the program was to attract children of poor families to school and to increase attendance of the students, especially of girls. This program has saved thousands of children from malnutrition and has increased girl’s participation in school in rural areas. In 2013, WFP (World Food Program) and Nepal Government Ministry of Education (MOE) worked together in 1,635 primary and 1,123 pre-primary schools, providing mid-day meals to around 14,223 children. feeding-program The data shows that the School Feeding Program has succeeded to increase the primary school attendance in program implemented districts. The attendance of boys was 83.2 percent in 2002 when the program started and it reached 97 percent in December 2009. Similarly, the girl’s attendance was 83.9 percent when the program started in 2002 and it reached to 92 percent in December 2009. Thus, the program has had positive impact on children’s health, girl student’s enrollment and declination in school dropouts. We have to acknowledge the fact that ‘Poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity anywhere’ and do what we can to help government to make this program available in every school in Nepal so that we can have healthy educated manpower for prosperity of our country. If you can do little then do little, if you can do more then do more but at least do something.