A team of policy analysts have called upon the government to integrate the school feeding programme into the parish model project, a priority development agenda touted by the state for financial year 2021/22.
“We are inviting the government to incorporate a comprehensive National School Feeding and Nutrition Programme in the model as a contribution to improved school retention, gender parity, numbers of pupils and results of Universal Primary Education,” Uganda Debt Network Quality Assurance Manager, Mr Gilbert Musinguzi said early this week while making a case for the suggestion.
According to government statistics, corroborated by Uganda Debt Network (UDN), ‘‘only three out 10 pupils have meals routinely while at school as the rest go hungry the entire time they are within the school precinct.’’
This ugly situation according to the policy experts can be taken care of with integration of the school feeding programme into the parish development model whose ‘‘objective is to organise and deliver public and private sector interventions for wealth creation, including investment planning, budgeting and service delivery at the parish level as the lowest planning unit.’’
Speaking at the UDN offices on Monday in Kampala, Ms Christine Byiringiro, a policy analyst, noted that the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme introduced in 1997 ‘‘has registered some progress, but could do better through utilising some of the current or even prospecting programmes without recourse for additional resources but rather reshuffling available budget resources and enriching the activities.’’
“Through the Social Services delivery pillar which includes health, education, water, and other social development services, school feeding programmes fits in their perfectly well,” she explained.
In March 2021 Cabinet directed on Parish Development Model (PDM) implementation, effective with FY 2021/22 national budget after approving it as a vital component for the National Development Plan (NDP).
The policy analysts regard the parish development model approach as a major pathway for achieving and harmonization of national objectives including job and wealth creation, and inclusive transformation.
According to the 2021/2022 budget speech, this approach seeks to create income generating opportunities at the 10,594 Parishes in the country. About Shs200million has been earmarked for as a start.