Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed has announced the release of Sh16 billion capitation funds for secondary and primary schools.
Speaking during the launch of National School Meals and Nutrition Strategy in Nairobi yesterday, the CS said the funds will be used to cater for free primary and secondary education for this term including the school feeding programme.
“We have dispatched Sh16 billion capitation funds to all schools countrywide to help in free education programmes for this term.
The school feeding and nutrition programme will also benefit from these funds,” she said. Amina said the school feeding programme has led to an increase in school enrolments with a five per cent increase in school attendance rates.
She said more than a million children, especially from the arid and semi-arid areas and the slums of Nairobi are receiving meals in school with 500,000 beneficiaries from Mandera, Wajir and Turkana. “The launch of the school meals nutrition strategy will ensure that more children are enrolled and retained in schools as they will find a reason to go to school since they are fed.
This will also help the brain capacity as well as ensure the children receive nutritious meals each school day,” she said. The CS added that with the strategy, the government aims at ensuring that all children in pre-primary and primary schools receive at least one nutritious meal per school day.
On his part, Agriculture and Irrigation Cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri said his ministry will roll out drip irrigation kits at a sub-sidised rate of 50 per cent off the market price to help schools undertake crops production to support the school feeding programme
. “My Ministry will collaborate with the Education ministry to ensure that the school feeding programme and the home grown meals idea is sustainable,” he said. Health CS Sicily Kariuki said nutrition improves brain capacity leading to good performance in schools.
She, however, said malnutrition is still a huge challenge in the country with one out of four children under the age of five being malnourished with women and children being the worst affected.