Students with nutrition do better in schools: Study
Every four out of seven children do well in school if they have a balanced diet and eat foods like fish, meat, milk, egg and vegetables, said researchers yesterday.
On the other hand, only three out of four children, who are deprived of such foods, are able to succeed, they said referring to a study conducted by Centre for Policy Research of International University of Business Agriculture and Technology.
Based on a survey on 577 women of four villages of Jamalpur and a slum in the capital's Uttara, the study revealed that improving urban and rural child nutrition by five percentage points results in seven percent increase in school completion rates.
The study was released at Jatiya Press Club in the capital yesterday.
Prof John Richards of Simon Fraser University, one of the researchers, said, “If successful, child nutrition programmes may lower grade repetition and thereby reduce somewhat the pressure on schools.”
He admitted that nutrition programmes “are not a panacea” for problems facing education in Bangladesh.
“These [nutrition programmes] may lower dropout rates, a desirable outcome for individual students but one that aggravates the overall problems faced by crowded under-funded schools,” he said. Besides nutrition, children whose parents can read are more likely to finish primary school than children whose parents cannot, he said.