Rwanda: Free school feeding scheme to reduce absenteeism

APA - Kigali (Rwanda)

Rwandan students, both in primary and secondary school, will begin getting free lunch at school starting next semester, a senior Government official disclosed Wednesday in Kigali.

Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente said for the program to be successful, the government will spend Rwf27 billion ($27 million USD), Rw35 Billion ($35 million USD) and Rwf42 billions ($ 42 million USD) in the respective three years.

The top government official added that more contributions from the private sector are needed to make the project successful.

"We want the school feeding project to last long and therefore we invite private investors in the education sector to invest their money," Dr Ngirente said

According to him, the wishes of the government are to see that every student at school can have lunch at school for both boarding and day scholars.

For that program to be successful parents will play a role by paying school fees.

Ngirente said the government expenditure is 40% of the school feeding budget on every student and parents are required to pay 60% which is paid through tuition.

"The tuition fees that parents pay go to feeding programs for their children. Government schools don’t charge parents the fees for construction of the schools or paying the teacher.  It is for contributing to the school feeding program."

There are 2612 primary and secondary public schools, according to official statistics.

According to Rwanda school feeding operational guidelines, there are many ways in which the program will improve the quality of education by boosting a number of students who drop out of the school and enhancing nutritional status of the school going children: with an appropriately designed food basket and rations.

The program shall improve the nutrition  and micro-nutrient deficiencies.


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