An assessment of the social and academic benefits of the school feeding programme in selected primary schools of Mwinilunga district in North Western province of Zambia
Lumbwe, Maluba Maxwell
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The Ministry of General Education, working in conjunction with the World Food Programme (WFP) introduced the School Feeding Programme to address nutrition and health problems of school going children in Mwinilunga District. A study was undertaken to assess the social and academic benefits of the School Feeding Programme in selected primary schools of Mwinilunga District in North Western Province of Zambia. The study used a descriptive phenomenological research design. The sample consisted of fifty (50) participants. These were: 32 pupils, 8 teachers, 4 School Feeding Programme Coordinators, 4 head teachers, 1 World Food Programme Officer and 1 District Planning Officer from the District Education Board Secretary’s Office. Purposive sampling was used in the selection of the head teachers, School Feeding Programme Coordinators, World Food Programme officer and District Planning Officer while convenience sampling was used to select the teachers and the pupils. The study addressed itself to three specific objectives. These were to; examine the extent to which the School Feeding Programme influenced pupils’ class attendance and retention in schools, establish the social benefits of the School Feeding Programme, and assess the academic benefits of the programme in selected primary schools of Mwinilunga District. Data were collected through use of semi structured questionnaire, interviews and focus group discussions whereas data analysis was done using a thematic analysis method. The study revealed that the School Feeding Programme influenced pupils’ class attendance and retention and established the social benefits of the programme as promoting positive social interaction. Further, the study revealed that school meals served as a platform to promote school attendance which in turn enhanced pupils’ academic performance. The study concluded that the programme should be promoted if the universal primary education goal is to be attained. Furthermore, the study recommended that programme coordinators needed training in the management of the intervention and that the PTA needed to mobilise the community to construct school kitchens and help in the provision of proper sanitation.
The University of Zambia
- Education