Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - School meal programme continues

School meal programme continues

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The education ministry and development partners are set to continue a school meal programme in target provinces in a bid to increase enrolment. Photo supplied

School meal programme continues

The government and development partners are working to expand a school meal programme to help increase enrolment, attendance and graduation rates while improving children’s access to nutrition to better facilitate their education.

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports spokesman Ros Soveacha said on January 24 that the government is committed to developing the school meal programme by raising funds for the construction of new kitchens, dining and washroom facilities at schools in the coming years.

He affirmed the ministry’s continued cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP), the Executive Committee of the National Social Protection Council and other partners to strengthen implementation of the programme in target schools.

Soveacha said the ministry is expanding the number of target schools from 205 to 290. Located in Siem Reap, Oddar Meanchey and Kampong Speu provinces, those schools will be transferred from the WFP in 2022. The ministry will continue to examine the possibility of accepting more schools under the government’s annual budget.

On January 21, education minister Hang Chuon Naron and WFP country director Claire Anne Conan led a meeting regarding implementation of the school meal programme.

Conan expressed the WFP’s appreciation of its partnership with the ministry to implement the meal programme as part of social protection measures aimed to ensure vulnerable children have access to nutritious hot meals every day before they start classes.

“WFP will continue to support and work with the ministry to ensure the sustainability of this important life-changing programme,” she said.

Chuon Naron thanked the WFP for its active collaboration with the ministry in providing food for schools across Cambodia, which encourages children to attend school regularly, on time and all day. It has been especially important for younger children.

“Providing adequate nutrition is vital to sustain their physical, mental and emotional health so that they can focus on their studies,” he said.

With technical and financial support from the WFP during the academic year 2019-2020, the ministry began transferring implementation of some school meal programmes, entailing the provision of breakfasts and lunches prepared with agricultural products from local communities, at 10 target schools located in the five provinces of Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey and Siem Reap.

The government currently subsidises school meal programmes in the provinces of Kampong Cham, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and some districts in Siem Reap.

The programme also aims to increase incomes in the target communities through diversifying production of agricultural goods to supply foods for school meals.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They