[KENYA] More than 15,000 children have dropped out of school due to lack of food in Turkana. Transport hitches and shortage of funding has disrupted Turkana schools feeding programme.
Feeding programmes in the region are funded by government and donors. Education director in Turkana Nicodemus Anyang yesterday said many children have not reported to schools since the begin of the third term due to delays in distribution of relief food.
The World Food Programme has suspended distribution of relief food to schools in parts of Turkana due to inaccessibility. “We have had challenges in reaching many of the schools because of poor roads and insecurity,” said Anyang on the phone.
More than 40,000 children especially those in Early Childhood Development schools are usually supported through the ECD programmes.
School officials in South Sudan say a monthly take-home food ration from the World Food Programme (WFP) has helped to reduce the number of female students dropping out of school.
The girls from grades 3-8 who are allowed by their parents to attend classes for at least 20 out of 22 days in a school calendar month receive a 9.9 kilograms of cereal and 3.6 kilograms of vegetable oil. The food serves as an incentive to the parents, who generally prefer to send boys to school, while girls stay home to work, help their families with cooking or are married off early in exchange for bride-price.
“We have witnessed a real increase in the number of girls that have enrolled and stayed in school since we started providing food through the (girls’) incentive,” says Lokang Augustine Okocha, the director of studies at Redeemed Generation Academy in Torit, the capital of Eastern Equatoria State.
[ETHIOPIA] Parts of Ethiopia are still reeling from the effects of recent drought, flooding, conflict or a combination of the three, resulting in increased numbers of children dropping out of school, say officials. At least 385,000 school-children need “emergency education assistance this school year”, Alexandra Westerbeek, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) communication manager in Ethiopia, told IRIN. “In addition, 70,000 children among [the] refugee population also need emergency education assistance.