Student numbers surge with free midday meal

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Bajhang, Sept 27: The number of students attending regular classes in the remote schools of Bajhang has increased after Food for Education Programme was introduced to provide free midday meals for students.

The programme is being run in a total of 302 schools of the district which has directly benefited around 35, 286 students, Food for Education Programme Unit Chief, Pankaj Subedi said.

The programme has been running in the district since the year 2000 with support of World Food Programme (WFP) and Education Ministry’s material and economic support. Many students from the numerous poverty-stricken families in the district did not go to the school or ran away when there had not been a provision for free midday meal.

Many students who used to arrive at the school used to run away under the pretext of drinking water to quench their feigned thirst.

Sunkuda VDC’s local resident, Kalpana Devi Bista, said the introduction of the free midday meal at school has made her children eager to go to the school regularly and their educational quality has been enhanced. “I have two sons and three daughters who study at the nearby Mahadev Primary School,” she added.

A school provides 110 grams of nutritional porridge for a student as midday meal, according to Mahadev Primary School Principal, Hari Jeet Bohara.

Bohara said the students now regularly attend the classes and do not run away as in the past when their parents also struggled to provide them midday meal. Now that the state has introduced Food for Education Programme it has become easier to provide lunch to the children and the number of students in our school has surged, he said, adding further that unlike in the past the students have shown interest in study.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the programme at Gorkhali Primary School, located at a far-flung and remote village in Dadaraya – 9, has brought about a reform in the students’ educational quality and increased the student number, Principal Gorakh Bahadur Khadka said.

“This school is located at the remotest VDC of our district, but now after the introduction of the midday food programme the students have increased and we have also seen a reformation in the education quality,” said Principal Khadka, beaming with delight at the transformation. RSS

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