The Mineduc obtains an additional 5 billion Frw to strengthen the school feeding program | The new times

The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) will receive Rwf 5 billion of additional funding to be able to support school feeding program in schools.

The new funding is part of the revised draft budget for the financial year 2021-22 which was presented to Parliament last week.

Talk to new times, MP Omar Munyaneza, chairman of the National Budget and Heritage Committee, said this is in line with maintaining this initiative to ensure that no child is excluded from school because their parents cannot afford a meal.

“According to this newly revised budget, the amount granted is a supplement to the initial budget that was allocated to this program during the initial budget,” he said, referring to the budget of the same year which was adopted at the halfway. Last year.

He added that the government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) will continue to inject money into this project whenever necessary.

Commenting on some concerns raised around this scheme, such as parents not being able to pay their contributions, among other issues, Munyaneza said the government has launched an assessment exercise which should reveal the sufficient amount needed per student. depending on the area to solve this problem.

Currently, the government spends Rwf 56 every day for a student, which is supplemented by the parent’s contribution of Rwf 94 as food support for each student while in school.

The school feeding program was extended to pre-school, primary and secondary school children at the start of the school year last year.

Difficult to contribute

Jeanne d’Arc Abamukunda, the director of Groupe Scolaire Munyunze in Ruhango district, said parental contributions are still a big challenge while the government has been consistent in disbursing its contribution.

“We feed all the students but at some point it requires additional funding to be able to feed them for the whole term and we have to ask parents to contribute – in cash or in kind – to cover their contributions,” he said. she said, adding that some may even work part-time at school or bring food.

She added that, for example, in her school, out of 1,088 students, only around 800 can afford to contribute in cash or in kind.

Bosco Muhire, a father of two, attributes the lack of parental support to financial constraints.

“I have to contribute 12,000 Frw per term for each of my children as a parent, and yet I am in the first division of Ubudehe. So it is difficult for me to pay money every term so that my children can eat at school,” he said.

Increase plan’

Commenting on the matter, the Ministry of Education said the government will continue to increase the contribution to the program based on the availability of the budget.

“Since the scaling up of the school feeding programme, the government’s contribution has increased from Rwf 8 billion to around Rwf 54 billion (only on food). It is expected to increase depending on budget availability,” said Rose Baguma, director general in charge of policy analysis at the ministry.

She added that the previous supplementary budget had been used to scale up school feeding to cover all levels of basic education.

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