The Ministry of of Basic and Senior Schools Education (MBSSE) together with Plan International officially lunched the school feeding program in the Western Area Rural District (WARD-C) of Sierra Leone on Monday, 30th January, 2023, at the Western Rural Education Committee Primary School in Russell, Western Rural District.

According to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Education, 57, 530 pupils in 197 schools in WARD-C will directly benefit from the program, adding that, the number will add to the already existing number and that will add the total number of pupils benefitting from this massive program to 735, 000 kids nationwide.

Launching the school feeding project years ago, President Bio noted that the goal for which he thought it prudent to introduce the huge project, is essentially to develop children in deprived communities, local farmers, community people, as well as the producers of agricultural products in the country.

The Deputy Minister ll of the Basic and Senior School Education (MBSSE) who also manages the School Feeding Programme, Madam Mamusu Patricia Massaquoi, said that the school feeding program started in 2018 with only 50,000 pupils serving as direct beneficiaries of the project. She added that the implementation was done in Falaba and Koinadugu districts by the Catholic Relief Service (CRS) to complement the government’s effort.

In 2019, we increased school feeding to 320,000 pupils when we have the World Food Programme (WFP) joining in feeding pupils in Kambia and Pujehun Districts. In 2020 when we had the outbreak of COVID-19, we still increased school feeding to a total of eleven districts feeding a total of 430,000 pupils,” madam Massaquoi emphasized.

She added that, in 2021, the Ministry extended the school feeding program to all 14 districts in the hinterland, feeding 441,000 pupils and in 2022, the project was expanded to 630,000 pupils from 90 Chiefdoms in all 14 districts across the country.

Plan International Country Director for Sierra Leone, Mr. Evariste Sindayigaya said that Plan International cooperates with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Schools Education (MBSSE) and other partners to ensure that girls, vulnerable kids and children with disabilities get access, retain, re-enter and transition to quality and inclusive formal education at both pre-primary, primary and secondary school in an inclusive and safe learning environment.

We are all here today because the agenda of radical inclusion and comprehensive safety is personal to the institutions that we represent. To the leadership of MBSSE, the Government of Sierra Leone, we say, it is your vision and drive for inclusive quality education that has brought us thus far,” he expressed.

He added that Plan International is excited for the launch of the School Feeding Program in the Western Area Rural District, especially when the project is targeting more girls (29,568) than boys (26,448) in the district

Sindayigaya that Plan International also provides daily meals to 301,397 in 1,368 pre-school and primary schools in Moyamba, Port Loko, Bombali, Bo, Kailahun and Western Area respectively.

The School Feeding program according to the MBSSE, is built on the Government’s Flagship Program: Free and Quality Education (FQE) and to follow the guiding doctrines of the MBSSE that include universal access to quality and equitable education, radical inclusion, quality teaching & learning and comprehensive safety of all learners.

The long-term dream of the school feeding program is to ensure that it contributes to the vision, mission, and goals of the Government as conveyed in the Mid-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) and the Education Sector Plan (ESP) in order to pocure and provide locally produced and processed nourishing and healthy school meals to pupils.