Reconsider Withdrawal of School Feeding Programme, Urges NG-CDF Chairman



By Tobby Otum

Parliamentary Select Committee on National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Chairman, Musa Sirma, has made a heartfelt appeal to the government to reconsider its decision to withdraw the school feeding programme in the proposed budget for the 2024-25 financial year. Sirma voiced his concerns during the grand opening of fully equipped classrooms at Mary Cliff Girls Primary School in Mvita constituency, Mombasa County.

“Let the government reconsider the position it has taken and continue with the program,” Sirma urged, highlighting the critical role the school feeding programme plays in ensuring pupils attend school regularly. He stressed that discontinuing the initiative could significantly discourage students from attending school, thereby undermining educational standards across the country.

Sirma, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for Eldama Ravine, emphasized that the school feeding programme has become an essential part of the pupils’ daily routine. Accompanied by NG-CDF Chairman John Olago Aluoch, he reminded the government of its responsibility to maintain the programme, which had previously been allocated KSh 4.9 billion in the financial year ending June 30, 2024.

“The withdrawal of the government initiative will discourage pupils from going to their respective schools,” Sirma said. “This move will lower the standards of education in the country.”

He pointed out that ensuring students are motivated and well-nourished is crucial during a period of educational reform. Sirma’s remarks were echoed by Aluoch, who noted that while there is no specific law mandating the school feeding programme, its importance cannot be overstated.

“There is no school feeding programme provided in the law, but it is essential for the welfare and education of our students,” Aluoch stated, supporting Sirma’s plea.

The National Treasury’s proposed budget for the 2024-25 financial year had scrapped funds for the school feeding programme, a decision that has sparked concern among educators and lawmakers alike. Sirma’s passionate appeal underscores the potential negative impact this budgetary cut could have on the nation’s education system.

As the government deliberates on the final budget, the call to maintain the school feeding programme serves as a reminder of the broader implications such fiscal decisions have on the country’s future. The NG-CDF chairman’s appeal aims to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn in a supportive and conducive environment, free from the burden of hunger.

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