The Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni has taken the “Feed our Children” campaign to Kigezi, reminding parents of their responsibility to ensure their children are well fed in school.
Mrs Museveni was on Friday evening appearing on Voice of Kigezi radio in Kabale municipality, accompanied by State Minister for planning, David Bahati and Dr. Kedress Turyagyenda, the Head of the Directorate of Education Standards in the Ministry of Education.
In her remarks, the Minister who doubles as First Lady expressed concern over the decreasing nutritional standards in Kigezi despite its previous record of good performance in the same field.
“Allow me to thank you because I grew up knowing Banyakigezi as hardworking people, self reliant and also development oriented. You used to have enough food and the entire country respected you for that. Apparently, this state is being lost and I am here to remind you of this cause,” she said.
She called for increased sensitization of parents in ensuring the availability of enough food crops to avert the increasing cases of malnutrition.
“For the time I have spent in the Education Ministry, I have learnt that some children go to school without food to eat which is quite disastrous to their future progress. We all know that if a parent produces a child, they should ensure that they get enough food, clothing, shelter and health care,” she said.
Mrs. Museveni said that Kigezi has a good and favourable climate that should enable proper nutrition thus parents should not have any excuse in this regard.
She added that it is hard for a poorly fed child to perform well in school and thus parents should ensure to avail them with enough food.
“We would wish to mobilize leaders in all categories to join us in this campaign to remind parents their role of feeding their children. According to the available statistics from districts that have their children well fed, their performance is good as they are able to be attentive in class and are vibrant in their daily lives,” said Mrs. Museveni.
For urban dwellers, the First Lady asked them to work with school authorities by providing food to them which they will be preparing for children.
She noted that packing lunch for children is not a sign of inability. She asked local leaders to fight against unnecessary absenteeism of learners.
Speaking on the same radio program, Dr. Kedress Turyagyenda, the Director for Education Standards in the Ministry of Education condemned the increasing cases of sexual harassment of learners by their teachers.
She also asked parents to stand with their children who get early pregnancies while in school.
“According to our latest guidelines, if a child gets pregnant, parents should take her home and offer her the necessary support to enable safe motherhood, then after take her back to school,” said Turyagyenda.
State Minister for Finance and Planning, David Bahati said that government is to take over Kakomo Secondary School and Buhara Secondary School soon so as to ensure efficient service delivery in these schools.
What the Callers Said
Nelson Nshangabasheija from Katuna town council hailed the campaign by the First Lady saying that it will ensure an improved performance in the country.
Peace Kakyira, from Kabale Municipality hailed the Ministry for supporting private schools development in the country, however, he asked inspectors of schools to undertake adequate supervision to ensure the success of this campaign.
Owoyesiga Kakwenza from Rubanda district asked the Minsitry to establish kitchens in public schools where learners can have their meals prepared from.