An evaluation of the implementation of home grown school feeding programme in selected primary schools in Nyimba district, Zambia
Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) is a school initiative used by United Nations member states Zambia inclusive, as a social safety net to tackle the problem of malnutrition and hunger among pupils. It is also used to help improve access and retention. The study aimed at evaluating the implementation of HGSFP in selected primary schools in Nyimba district. The objectives were to: establish how the Programme was implemented; determine enrolment numbers, attendance and academic achievements in relation to school feeding; investigate the roles of pupils, parents, teachers, and headteachers and ascertain the challenges experienced in the implementation of HGSFP in Nyimba district. A descriptive research design which was supported by qualitative methods of data collection was used in the study. Semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides were administered to forty six (46) study participants consisting of: six (6) headteachers, nine (9) teachers, fifteen (15) pupils, fifteen (15) parents and one (1) district education planning officer drawn from fifteen (15) selected primary schools in Nyimba district. All participants were purposively sampled as they were directly involved in school feeding while simple random sampling was used to select 15 primary schools. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The study found that the sampled primary schools in Nyimba district had implemented HGSFP with a dish called chindusha (mixture of maize, cow peas and cooking oil). The programme improved enrolment numbers and attendance of both gender in the sampled schools but not performance. It was also evident from the findings that HGSFP was characterised by several challenges including: use of centralised approach to procurement of food (supplied from Lusaka); irregularities in supply of food to schools; mismanagement of food stocks; lack of school feeding timetables; lack of ownership of the programme by local communities and farmers as well as irregular monitoring and evaluation of the programme by Ministry of General Education. Food handlers were required to be certified fit by health personnel to ensure food hygiene. The study therefore, recommended localization of the supply of food to empower local communities and farmers, regular monitoring and evaluation of the programme, orientation of teachers and parents on the running of the programme and indeed rolling out of the programme to other schools and districts in the province.
- Education