Governor Mwangaza launches KSh78 million ECDE school feeding programme

The Meru county government has launched a feeding program for Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) learners which will cost KSh78 million annually.
Governor Kawira Mwangaza said the program is designed to benefit at least 60,000 learners in 777 ECDE centers across the county.
Speaking at the county headquarters during the launch, governor Mwangaza said the initiative will enable each pupil to get a cup of fortified porridge every day from Monday to Friday.

She said each child has been allocated Sh400 per month noting that each school has opened an account where the money will be deposited for successful management of the funds.
“The extensive feeding program is designed to benefit an average of 60,000 learners in 777 ECDE centers throughout the county. My administration has allocated an annual budget of Sh78 million to ensure the smooth execution of this initiative.
We have already formed a management committee of five people in each school to ensure the smooth running of the program. The committee has opened an account where the money will be deposited for seamless operation of the initiative,” said the governor.

Mwangaza said the program encompasses provision of fortified porridge flour with the primary goal of increasing enrollment, enhancing ECDE pupil retention and promoting better nutrition among learners.
She regretted that many learners in arid and semi arid areas have dropped out of school due to biting poverty with many children sleeping hungry or even staying for several days without a proper meal.

The governor said some schools have as few as 15 learners with majority preferring to stay at home to look for the next meal and promised to improve the feeding program in the future by doubling or tripling the amount to enable the pupils to also have lunch.
“Before we started the feeding program, we had sent field experts to establish the learners population and how much a child can consume per term. We have also formed a monitoring team for accountability and continuity of the program. To ensure long term success, we are collaborating closely with parents,” said Mwangazi.
She advised the management to only buy the products from the nearby villages in order to enable the locals benefit from the program.

Mwangaza said her administration will build 50 new ECDE classes noting that teachers will have refresher courses in a bid to sharpen their skills.
The governor appealed to organized groups and good Samaritans to come on board and support the program because the population of learners is likely to increase.
During the launch, the governor issued a cheque of Sh58 million meant for infrastructural development in Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) and ECDE centers across the county.
‘’In this financial year, we have allocated Sh136 million for bursaries and each ward will receive Sh3 million. We have also set aside Sh58 million to improve infrastructure in our vocational training centers. We will also pay exam fees for every student in our vocational training Centers,” said the governor.


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