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South Africa: 10 Millionth Breakfast Meal for Learners Celebrated
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 17, 2013

Speaking to SAnews, school Principal Shepard Gatyeni said since the food programme was implemented at the school, there has been a great improvement in school attendance.
“The learners have begun to show interest in learning. The learners now love coming to school, interestingly, we have also noted that they are now punctual when coming to school and their performance is impressive,” he said.
The Basic Education’s National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) currently provides nutritional meals to over 8 million learners daily throughout the country.
According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, her department spends about R5 billion annually on the NSNP which started a few years ago. The programme has been implemented in almost all the schools throughout the country.
Motshekga explained that the programme was introduced to encourage learners to attend school. “Food is important for the wellbeing of learners and they perform much better when they are not hungry.”
Motshekga said her department introduced the programme to assist the learners especially those from poor families in support of quality learning.
“On an empty stomach, no child can follow what the teacher says in class,” she said, adding that the Bill of Rights in the constitution extends to every child the right to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health-care and social services.
Motshekga said government has prioritised pro-poor strategies for supporting learners whose learning capacity was compromised by inadequate nutrient intake and fatigue from walking long distances between home and school.
The minister has also called on other private sector companies to join hands with government to improve the quality of education.
“Working together we can do more to improve the quality of education and build a better life for all of us,” she said.
She explained that the programme provides meals to deserving learners from rural, informal settlement and urban schools whose school performance may be affected by poor economic conditions.
Tiger Brands Chief Executive Officer Peter Matlare said his company will continue to support the department in improving the quality of education. “We felt there is a need to partner with the Department of Education to improve education,” he said.
According to Matlare, since their partnership with government, school dropout at an early stage has decreased.
One of the learners benefiting from the school feeding programme is Grade 1 learner, Nolwazi Cindi, who said she now likes coming to school because there is food. “After eating I can listen to the teacher when she is teaching,” she said.
The partnership between the Department of Basic Education and Tiger Brands received the thumbs up from communities with many saying it should be extended to all schools countrywide.
The ultimate goal of Tiger Brands is to have learners well nourished.
Matlare also announced that his company will be building a fully-fledged kitchen for the Gquebenya Secondary School.
In its report, Tiger Brands said it will continue to fund and support the School Monitors at the 13 schools in Alexandra, Gauteng and 5 in Modimolle, Limpopo province.
The School Monitors are responsible for the daily monitoring and reporting on the in school breakfast feeding programme.
They are all out of school youth that live in the community and receive stipends of R1 250 per month and work for Tiger Brands from 7am – 8:30am daily at the assigned schools.
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