Better nutrition for school going children crucial, says education official

Nestle Kenya will spend over sh 10 million in 2017 to implement a school nutrition programme in selected primary schools in the country, company Corporate Communications Manager Mr. James Ojiambo has revealed.

He said the programme implemented in partnership with the ministry of education had intensified efforts in promoting nutrition among school going children with a view to raising awareness on the importance of eating balanced diet, regular physical activity and good hygiene practices.

In Kenya the programme has reached over 142,000 children and the launch in Murang’a is part of a scale-up plan to extend the programme to more counties to reach an additional 52,000 beneficiaries from 152 schools, explained Ojiambo.

The money, Ojiambo said will go into training of teachers and providing essential education materials to help in involving children in interactive lessons about healthy eating, physical exercise, hygiene and sanitation

Speaking during launching of the Programme for Murang’a County , Assistant Director for basic education at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Ms Olive Mbuthia said poor feeding led to lack of crucial vitamins lowering reasoning and concentration of potential of learners.

Proper nutrition, she said is very important for all learners as it helps tap their potential.

She observed that brilliant learners ended up performing dismally because of poor feeding habits.

Children who lack some vitamins, experience difficulties in concentrating in their studies or in co-curricular activities, she added.

KICD, Mbuthia noted approved teaching on nutrition from class one so as would enable learners adopt health habits in early years.

The assistant director lauded Nestle for coming up with the programme which helps in training teachers on nutrition and hygiene and in provision of learning materials on the same adding that schools with chunks of land should embrace kitchen gardening to provide better feeding to their students.

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We have already trained over 1, 500 teachers in Nairobi, Kiambu, Embu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga and Kakamega counties, who in turn train their colleagues and help reach the pupils in the selected schools, said Ojiambo.

During the occasion, 180 teachers drawn from 63 primary schools in Murang’a were trained and issued with pupil training materials that will focus on nutrition education and physical activities.

Source: Kenya News Agency