Ministry to increase food for education quotas

Renu Kshetry

Kathmandu, January 17:

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) is planning to increase the quota for food for education programmes as the demand of food by girl students is on the rise.

Purna Bahadur Ranabhat, programme director of Food for Education Project under the MoES said the government is planning to increase the quota as per the demand.

“A committee has been formed to study the programme’s impact and we are gathering statistics,” said Ranabhat.

“Schools which are running the Global Food for Education Initiative (GFEI) and Food for Education (FfE) programmes are very overcrowded, especially in the Terai districts and conflict-stricken areas, due to the provision of free food.”

Ranabhat informed that the Maoists, too, have supported the programme.

Laba Prasad Tripathee, spokesperson of Education Ministry, said there is a chance of increasing the quota by 20-25 per cent with the consent of World Food Programme (WFP).

“As the programme has become very successful, the ministry might increase the quota by 25 per cent in target areas,” said Tripathee.

Each student from grade 1 to grade 5 receives 110 gm of ‘food’ per day along with two litres of oil under the FfE programme to attract students. The GFEI targets students from grade 1 to 8. The FfE programme is benefiting 2,50,000 students while the GFEI helps 2,00,000 others.

In order to enroll girls and for their regular attendance, the government and the WFP are

conducting the Girls’ Incentive Programme (GIP) by providing two liters of oil to the family

which agrees to send girls to school regularly — having 80 per cent attendance.

According to School Level Education Statistics of Nepal, 2004: Flash Report I, out of 75

four districts — Ramechhap, Mustang, Udaypur and Manang — have enrolment percentage in favour of girls.

The programmes started from 2002 and will continue till 2006. The FfE is being conducted in 16 districts, the GFEI in five districts, Mother and Child Health Care Programme in 27 VDCs of seven districts, the GIP in 11 districts and de-worming programme in 21 districts.

The FfE is being conducted in Achham, Salyan, Rukum, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Dhanusha, Parsa, Doti, Dadeldhura, Pyuthan, Baitadi, Bajang, Darchula, Bajura, Rupandehi districts. The Global Food Education programme is running in five districts —Ramechhap, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Makwanpur and Udaypur.