SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME TIMELY
Recent announcement by the government that plans are underway to place some 500,000 children under school feeding programme is good and timely news. Education Minister Deng Deng Hoc Yai announced that the government will collaborate with the World Food Programme (WFP) to execute the elaborate plan. First of all the move is unprecedented in South Sudan, going by the country’s food security situation. Furthermore Minister Deng Deng said future plans will see programme rolled out across the country and becomes home grown to avoid dependence on donors. Education should form any country’s priority needs especially in budgetary allocations. There should be no doubt at all that countries that have made it or prospered have set aside huge amounts and invested heavily in the education sector. Without education a country can never boast of any competence of technological growth. Without education, no country can talk of any advancement in any spheres in economic growth. However there is need to ensure all school going children are enrolled in schools. There should never be any excuse for lack of school fees or even food. The government should not make it compulsory and mandatory for all school age children to be enrolled in schools. However the task here is not enrolment but retention and completion which needs a stable feeding programme for all pupils. It should be understood that poverty and lack of food are some of the major causes of drop outs or low child enrolments in our schools. This means that learning environments must be made attractive to learners so they can enjoy being in school. It also means ensuring that qualified and adequate number of teachers is deployed to schools to curb the current teacher shortages. The law should be followed to its letter and spirit and anyone fund denying a child the right to education should face the full wrath of the same law he breaches. This law should be applicable everywhere without due regard to some out-dated cultural traditions that hurt education.