By Margaret Kalekye/Release
The government is set to strengthen food distribution to learners, under the School Feeding Programme, in areas severely affected by the ongoing drought season, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr. Fred Matiang’i has said.
Dr. Matiang’i made the announcement at Tumaini Primary School in Nyandarua County while on an extensive inspection tour of educational institutions in the area.
The CS consequently urged the education officers to monitor the situation to ensure that school heads are not stressed as a result of the effects.
Matiang’i at the same time has instructed all county directors of education in the affected areas to freeze officer’s annual leave until the situation improves.
He said the education officials should help manage the situation and hence all officers must be in their respective work stations at all time.
The Cabinet Secretary said these were some of the raft measures to mitigate drought effects. The CS was accompanied by his Youth and Gender Affairs counterpart Sicily Kariuki.
On her part, Kariuki said the government had directed the relief food being distributed to the affected areas will be channeled to the respective schools directly.
This, she said will ensure that no child misses class as a result of of the ravaging hunger adding that through NYS, the government will be able to reach all the needy places across the county.
She urged teachers to be vigilant to ensure only the targeted schools receive the relief food. The initiative will benefit some 3.6million children in 23 Counties in Arid and Semi-arid regions.
This includes 2,871,930 and 690,152 learners in public primary schools and secondary schools respectively.
Dr. Matiang’i also revealed that the government will send Shs.154million to educational institutions, notably secondary schools in the area as additional support to them to keep the children in schools. He said head teachers in the affected areas should not send learners away from school on account of school fees.
“Let us be compassionate,” Dr. Matiang’i urged.
Some of the 23 counties include Baringo, Turkana, Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Kwale, Kilifi, Makueni, Samburu, West Pokot, Kwale, Isiolo, Tharaka Nithi, and Marsabit among others.