KAMPALA: The First Lady and Minister for Education, Ms Janet Museveni, has said parents must provide food for their school-going children lest the government will start implementing the laws that punish those who cannot provide for them.
Ms Museveni told a press briefing at State House Nakasero on Saturday that the responsibility of educating children has to be shared between the government and parents, with the latter ensuring that children are well fed both at home and at school.
The First Lady addressed journalists while wrapping-up a countrywide school feeding campaign tour she undertook to mobilise parents to take the initiative of feeding their children well at home and also packing for them food to eat at school .
Ms Museveni said she also used her tour to correct the “wrong impression” that the government was supposed to fulfil all the roles of educating children with parents playing no role.
“These children are the future of our country. What is so sad is that sometimes they even get to school on an empty stomach. Leave alone going without lunch but starting the day without any feeding until in the evening when they return home,” Ms Museveni said.
Ms Museveni said a comparison between areas that feed their children and those that do not, shows that the former register better grades, low cases of stunted children and low levels of absenteeism.
“When you compare the areas that are not feeding children and those that have found a way of feeding their children, the difference is well felt. The children that are fed perform well in examinations than those that are not,” Ms Museveni said.
Ms Museveni presented a container she said costs Shs2000 and is therefore affordable to most parents in the country, castigating parents who spend money on alcohol and in salon, but cannot sacrifice little money to buy food containers for their children.
“It tells us something about selfishness that there are fathers who use Shs1000 for alcohol every day and mothers who spend money doing their hair and working on their nails but cannot buy containers to pack food for their children,” Ms Museveni said.
The First Lady also said that during her tour, she monitored 5 technical institutes in different areas of the country.
Ms Museveni also said the new sexuality programme will also tackle the mushrooming problem of homosexuality in schools.
“For a man to consider sleeping with another man is not normal and our cultures could not stomach that. If we do not tell the child that it is not normal, they will find another person to tell them, then they will find someone to tell them that it is right. I believe what we are doing is right,” Ms Museveni said.
On schools built from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Ms Museveni revealed that 137 schools will benefit from the grant, but only 54 have so far benefited.
The remaining 83 will benefit from a $100m grant that the government won from the GPE, in December this year.