Australian envoy opens School Feeding Programme in Panchagarh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 20, 2003 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:33 PM, June 01, 2013

Australian envoy opens School Feeding Programme in Panchagarh

Australian High Commissioner Lorraine Barker inaugurated a 'School Feeding Programme' at Goleha Government Primary School in Sadar upazila, Panchagarh on Tuesday.

The programme is aimed at increasing enrolment, improving attendance and reducing drop-out rates in the schools, particularly in the food insecure areas.

Under the school feeding programme 1,45,048 students of 900 government non-government, satellite, community and non-governmental organisation (NGO) primary schools will be benefited.

Each student will get a specially made packet of 75 gr biscuits at noon everyday. World Food Programme (WFP) with assistance from AUSAID financed the programme.

The school feeding would help improve the attention span and learning capacity of students by alleviating short-term hunger and building capacity of local communities.

Many children living in Panchagarh are considered "ultra poor" having deficiency in energy, protein and nutrition. These children often show signs of ill-health and are frequently absent from school or drop out altogether to look for food or income.

Government and NGO schools, therefore, often fail to attract the appreciable proportion of school-aged children from poor and ultra-poor households because they are engaged out of necessity as labourers.

Chief of Child Development and Education, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) James Jenings, Country Director of WFP Douglas Casson Coutts, Manager of School Feeding Programme, WFP, Karina Schmitt, Deputy Director of Primary Education, Rajshahi division M Abdul Latif, Acting Deputy Commissioner M Monirul Islam, and Headmaster of the school M Soliman spoke on the occasion.

District primary education officer Fasihauddin Ahmed said headmasters of all schools would get the biscuits at a time for 14 days.

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