European Union (EU) has said it is deeply impressed with implementation of strategic programmers that aim at improving basic education and promoting the welfare of learners in Mzimba which is registering desired results.
EU Head of Corporation in Malawi, Lluis Navarro express the sentiments at Vulundiya Primary School, in Ruviri Educational Zone in Mzimba South District when he presided over a ground breaking ceremony, to kick-start intensive construction of permanent storerooms and kitchens in 10 primary schools, which operate school feeding programme, under Nutrition and Access to Primary Education (NAPE) and AFIKEPO Programmes, co-financed by EU and GIZ.
He pointed out that it was pleasing to note that the financial support by the two organizations, to implement the two programmes, has made great strides in achieving the objectives of promoting good nutrition among learners.
Navarro that it was also encouraging that besides improving nutrition status of the children, the school meals initiative has also helped to retain pupils in class and their performance has tremendously improved.
The Head said he overwhelmed with learners’ proper understanding of scientifically arranged six food groups they are served as meals at the school.
He observed that school children’s appreciation for the need of timely intake of all the six food groups to satisfy nutrition requirement is enough testimony that the programmes were imparting positively on the target beneficiaries.
“I am so happy that the support from EU and GIZ to the selected primary schools which run feeding programmes are used for intended purpose because positive results are so clear for all to see,” Navarro, who was accompanied by GIZ Country Director, Dr. DagmarLumm pointed out.
District Commissioner for Mzimba, Thomas Chirwa said Mzimba District commended EU and GIZ for the provision of unconditional support to basic education system which is weighed down by multiple challenges beyond schools management.
He described NAPE and AFIKEPO programmes as great opportunity for both, proper growth and development of children and easy attainment of education.
Mzimba South District Education Manager, (DEM), Funwel Chiwowa named NAPE and AFIKEPO Programmes as the best weapons in fighting absenteeism and school dropouts in primary schools.
He said, “Since the introduction of NAPE and later AFIKEPO, enrollment in beneficiary primary schools has drastically shot up while dropouts and absenteeism have greatly reduced with a big margin. It has been proved that these challenges were being experienced due to poor access to food among some learners.”
EU has pumped Euros 15 million while GIZ, through German Federal Ministry or Economic Corporation and Development has injected Euros 3.7 million, towards the implementation of the two ambitious school meals programmes.
Part of the resources from the funding is used to procure a variety of low cost food stuffs, such as beans, maize, soya beans and ground nuts which are diversified with other locally available food, like fruits and vegetables, for preparation of nutritious meals.
The financial support from EU and GIZ to 10 beneficiary schools implementing NAPE and AFIKEPO programmes would help school management to afford serving school children with food which is highly rich in nutrients for their good nutrition.
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