Students in Kailahun district have gone without the benefits of the school feeding program for the past two terms, raising concerns about its impact on attendance, concentration, and overall well-being.
According to Lahai Feika, Deputy Director of Education for the district, numerous complaints have poured in from school heads expressing their frustration with the program’s suspension. Despite reaching out to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), Permanent Secretary, relevant directors, and service provider Plan International through several letters, minimal progress has been made.
The issue extends beyond Kailahun. Deputy Director Feika confirms that neighboring districts of Bo and Moyamba are facing similar challenges. Despite his efforts, including numerous letters and other attempts, Plan International, the service provider, has yet to take any significant action to address the problem.
Highlighting the program’s advantages, Feika emphasized its role in student retention, improved concentration, and punctuality. He urged the government to intervene promptly to ensure its swift resumption. While reassuring school heads of a restart, he offered no specific timeframe.
In the meantime, Feika encouraged parents, particularly those with children in crucial BECE and WASSCE classes, to monitor their children’s attendance and punctuality. The ministry is currently undertaking a headcount in all schools across the district.