School-going children will soon enjoy free lunch from the government after Parliament ordered the Ministry of Education to institute the necessary statutory guidelines to expedite the program’s implementation.
The project, which was the brainchild of Nairobi senator, Johnson Sakaja and President William Ruto, was tabled in Parliament by ODM’s Kakamega woman representative, Elsie Muhanda.
According to the Order Paper dated Thursday, October 13, the Members of Parliament pushed to have the programme enrolled across all basic education levels.
“This House, therefore, resolves that the Ministry of Education, through the relevant State Department, immediately develops a school feeding policy to cover basic education pupils and sustain the program in order to ensure that children are maintained in schools for effective learning and to improve their well-being,” read the order paper.
Muhanda while moving the motion in Parliament argued that the program would cushion children coming from humble backgrounds.
She further highlighted that the initiative will support the country’s achievements in the educational sector by boosting enrollment in schools.
“School meals are an important safety net for vulnerable children from food insecure households and communities in Kenya,” the MP stated.
Muhanda sampled initiatives by county governments which introduced a feeding system, some for Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) and others extending to primary schools.
However, she reckoned that some of the projects had a low success rate owing to several constraints.
“Where school meal programmes have been initiated, it has been noted that they encounter different challenges that impede their effectiveness, including insufficient resources due to low budgetary allocation and budget cuts and lack of a school feeding policy,” she stated.
Other challenges noted by the Woman Rep included shortage of safe cooking and drinking water, drought and famine, poor food storage, a lengthy procurement process, insecurity and dilapidated infrastructure.