Need to improve feeding programme in schools

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  • Our students in schools are not eating the right or nutritious food. Children who lack nutritious food often struggle in class. They find it harder to concentrate on their work when they’re thinking about when and what they’ll eat next. Too often, they tune out, act out and drop out.
    In Myanmar, there are over nine million children at 47,000 schools nationwide during this 2018-2019 Academic Year.
    But, only a few per cent of children received a school feeding program, thanks to the ministries, donors and international organizations, said Union Minister for Education Dr. Myo Thein Gyi in his opening remarks at the National School Feeding Lesson Learned and Way Forward Workshop in Nay Pyi Taw on 1 August.
    During this school year, Ministry of Health and Sports, Ministry of Education and World Food Program will work together to launch a national-level school feeding program.
    We all accept the fact that making investment in feeding children is very important for sustainable development of future human resources. The national-level school feeding program on a nationwide scale would benefit not only children but also the country.
    The most important is that education and health for our children is also for the future of our country. Only when they are healthy, can they learn and enjoy the benefits of education. Hence, parents are urged to provide nutritious food to their children and to encourage their physical activities. Periphery neuropathy or hidden hunger could affect learning abilities of students.
    On the part of the authorities, there is a need to employ an effective mechanism for monitoring nutritional status. As yet, it is difficult for teachers to coordinate and take care of fresh feeding items for a large number of students. There is lack of standard dietary requirement prescribed for students, and schools are unable to ensure required nutrient intake. Food prepared for children should stimulate students to eat the right portion and offer enough intake of nutrients.
    Agricultural diversification is seen as another dimension for improvement of nutrition and better health among school children.
    The most important issue is that we should not delay in finding out strong points of the current national-level feeding and school lunch projects and to prepare for tackling challenges of the national-level feeding program.
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