Delays In Maize Meal Affecting School Attendances In Kunene

27 May 2013 04:30

OPUWO, 27 MAY (NAMPA) - The Education Inspector for the Opuwo Circuit, Chris Tjivikua has urged teachers not to stop lessons because of the food shortages at some remote schools in the Kunene Region.
Tjivikua told Nampa here at the weekend that maize meal is usually provided to schools at the beginning of each term as part of the school-feeding programme.
?The maize meal will be delayed by up to three weeks, according to the communication we received from our Permanent Secretary,? said Tjivikua.
He explained that there have been some delays in the awarding of the tender to a company or person who should be responsible for the supply of maize meal to some schools in this region this term.
Most schools in the remote parts of this region do not have hostels, and learners are kept back at the schools, often sleeping in classrooms due to the long distances from the schools to their villages.
The maize meal availed through the school-feeding programme is the main source of food for many of these learners.
Without this maize meal, learners at some of the schools have been released to go home until the food becomes available.
Teachers have found it extremely difficult to teach hungry children, and they have in some cases just opted to abandon the lessons.
The schools which are most affected are the Otjitanda Primary School, Etanga Primary School, K.M. Maundu Primary School and the Okaoko-Otavi Combined School.
Some of these schools did not have classes at all the whole of last week, while others had classes only for those few learners who are residing in nearby villages.
Amidst the bleakness and desperation of this situation, there are some schools which have organised themselves and requested parents to contribute a fee - which was then used for the purchase of maize meal - a temporary relief measure until the school-feeding programme resumes.
Tjivikua said parents should know that the welfare of the children remains the parents? responsibility, stressing that parents are expected to ensure that they make arrangements to provide food for their children.
?All our remote schools are day-schools. The learners should have had breakfast when they come from their parents? houses in the morning.
At 10h00 , the school provides the learners with thin porridge from the school-feeding programme and after school, each learner has to go back home to their parents for lunch and dinner,? he noted.