NG-CDF committee rejects bid to scrap school feeding programme

From left; Mvita member of Parliament, Mohamed Machele, Chaiman CDF Board, Aluoch Olago and Chairman National assembly select committee on NGCDF, Musa Sirma at Ronald Ngala Primary School in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

The parliamentary committee on National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) has opposed the government's plan to scrap the school feeding programme.

Committee chairman Musa Sirma said Thursday the programme was a key pillar of education, ensuring low dropout and higher transition in lower classes.

He explained that the school feeding programme was a source of nutrition as malnourished children in marginalised areas cannot concentrate in classes.

The Eldama Ravine MP spoke after touring Mvita constituency in Mombasa on a fact-finding mission over proposals to have internet access and associated innovation hubs.

"We are opposed to the plan to do away with the feeding programme. Some children go to school because of the programme," said Sirma.

The MP who was accompanied by committee members, said the programme was part NG-CDF function as it was provided for in law.

"We have no provision for the feeding programmes in the NG-CDF Act unless the law is amended to accommodate it," he said.

Sirma said although the fund can allocate some money for the feeding programme that was not its mandate.

"Doing away with the feeding programme will be detrimental to the children because they are already used to the programme, which is also a motivating factor in education in the marginalized areas," he said.

Former Kisumu West MP and NG-CDF board chairman Olago Alouch said NG-CDF has no provision for school feeding programme and appealed for amendment of the law.

During the tour, Mvita MP Mohamed Machele said they have opened Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hubs in the constituency.