CBC to apply nutrition, healthy eating through 4K Clubs

Teachers from across the country at the 4K Clubs training session at the KICD in Nairobi on Saturday. [Jael Mboga, Standard]

The national curriculum agency has said it is crucial to include hygiene and nutrition as part of the syllabus.

Speaking during a training workshop for teachers in Nairobi on Saturday, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development deputy director, Olive Mbuthya, said the core subject in junior schools is health education that covers nutrition.

The workshop was meant to train teachers on how 4K Clubs can instil health and nutrition, especially for children in early childhood development classes.

Mbuthya said the 4K Clubs offer knowledge and skills that are part of the competence pillar in the recently launched Competence-Based Curriculum.

"Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and they [children] need to be self-reliant."

Mbuthya added that the clubs can further change the attitude towards agriculture both in school and within the community.

Her sentiments echoed those of Mumina Bonaya,  Education CAS, who has in the past observed that parents have a shared responsibility with schools to ensure meaningful teaching and learning takes place.

“Parents are the first and continuing educators of their children. They are not expected to teach, but to motivate their children to achieve their full potential,” Bonaya said during a consultative meeting at the KICD.

Nestlé Kenya’s Trizah Waithaka said the programme started in 2012 was a partnership with the Education ministry to launch the healthier children project.

The Nestlé for Healthier Kids programme has also partnered with the Agriculture ministry to revamp the 4K Clubs and set up nutrition gardens in schools.

The project has so far impacted more than 700,000 learners and trained more than 2,000 teachers in eight counties. KICD has also developed programme materials to help teachers train students on nutritious food.

Mbuthya continued, adding that the 4K Clubs and investments in agriculture should not be treated as a last resort as was seen during the pandemic.

"Do not wait until life beats you to seek alternatives and healthy eating, this should be done regularly especially for ECD children living in the city where healthy food is not as accessible as in the rural areas."

The KICD boss added that participants in the school agriculture projects should be encouraged to have indigenous vegetables that are more disease-resistant.

Mbuthya said some schools have large tracts of land that are unused. More nutritious foods could be planted, she added.

In incorporating smart agriculture and technology, the deputy director said schools in slums can grow food in containers or basin flower gardens and incorporate food crops.

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