- Daily Nation
Senators have supported a Bill that seeks the supply of free milk to children in pre-primary and primary schools.
The Basic Education (Amendment) Bill, 2020 sponsored by Nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka seeks to have the National Government in consultation with County Governments increase the enrollment of children in schools through the provision of milk.
The Bill also seeks to ensure the nutritional well-being of learners to improve their academic performance.The Senate Building in Nairobi.Kenyans.co.ke
“School health and nutrition programs, particularly when embedded within broader child development strategies, are an integral part of the long-term development of a child.
“As part of an inclusive maternal and child health as well as early childhood development, school health and nutrition programs are a critical step to ensuring a child is able to reach their full potential,” the bill stated.
According to the Bill, the milk provided to learners will be distributed through county directors to schools.
However, the Education Cabinet Secretary will recommend the criteria for the supply of milk to schools.
While debating the Bill in Parliament, senators argued that the nutritional health of pupils is critical in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of universal education.
“School health and nutrition interventions have been recognized as critical in addressing the Millennium Development Goals of universal basic education and gender equality in educational access,” the bill stated.
In what seems like the return of the famous Maziwa Ya Nyayo introduced by former President Daniel Moi, the senators also noted that the WFP reduced the school feeding program by Ksh 500 million and reintroducing the milk will help keep children in arid and semi-arid areas in school.
The school milk programs will also contribute to the growth of the dairy sector by providing a market for dairy farmers.
The proposed law will be presented before members of the National Assembly for approval after which it will be taken to President Uhuru Kenyatta for assent.Senate ProceedingsFilechild
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