An assessment of head teachers’ management of home-grown school feeding programme in selected primary schools in Chipata district, Zambia.
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This research study sought to assess head teachers‟ management of Home-Grown School Feeding Programme in selected primary schools in Chipata District. The study was guided by three objectives: To determine head teachers management of HGSFP in primary schools, to establish strategies used by head teachers in resource mobilization for HGSFP and to examine challenges faced by head teachers in management of HGSFP. Data was collected using, interviews, and observation check list. Data was analyzed thematically. The study sample was 46, comprising 15 head teachers, 15 SHN coordinators, 15 parents and 1 District school feeding manager. All the respondents were purposively sampled because they were privy to study information. The study findings showed that head teachers manage HGSFP by: initiating structures, spearheading community sensitization, community mobilization for participation and programme monitoring and evaluation. The study further revealed that head teachers established good strategies in resource mobilization for HGSFP. The strategies were: employment of permanent cooks, engaging in income generating activities, asking parents to buy feeding utensils for their children and incorporation of parents in the school feeding committee. Lastly, the study established that head teachers were faced with five major challenges in management of HGSFP which were: pupils leaving feeding utensils at home, poor quality of fire wood, absenteeism by voluntary cooks, parents‟ negative attitude toward the programme and time management. The study concluded that head teachers deployed good practices and strategies in management of HGSFP which has led to the attainment of the desired benefits of the school feeding programme in the district. Based on the findings, the study made the following recommendations: the government should ensure that there is proper and regular Home-grown school feeding programme in all public primary schools in Chipata District. Government must also supplement the efforts of the donors so that when they are no more school feeding continues to run. The efforts of the donors must also be appreciated and complimented. School management should support the programme by coming up with several ideas such as setting out income generating activities that would keep the programme running in an event when there is delayed funding from the donors. The Local community should educate parents on the importance of sending the children to school and the importance of the programme itself. Parents should support the feeding programme by providing labour in cooking, providing fire wood, supplying their children with clean plastic cups for meals, sending their children to school so that food is not put to waste and also by helping to pay the cooks. Donors should step up the brands of food by introducing more than what is there i.e. introducing other meals other than the porridge being provided, introduce other forms of fuel other than firewood. Lastly, the spirit of volunteerism among beneficiary communities must be encouraged by way of attaching an incentive to the work the volunteers do.
The University of Zambia