At least 35,000 learners in 524 Early Childhood Development Education institutions in Kiambu County will now enjoy a bowl of porridge and an egg daily after Governor Kimani Wamatangi launched a feeding program last week.
The program aims to improve school enrollment and retention of pupils who might be missing school due to a lack of food. Additionally, it seeks to improve nutrition among school-going children.
“We are aiming at retaining the children in school. Some children do not get a decent meal even at home and it makes them unable to concentrate in class. The children will be getting nutritious porridge and we supplement it with an egg,’ Wamatangi said.
The governor said that the Education Department has proposed an ECDE Bill which is awaiting passing by the County Assembly with the intent of making the program have a legal backing for it to hold even in the future regimes.
“We have presented the ECDE bill at the county assembly to be passed where we have put the feeding programme stating that from now henceforth it will be law and mandatory that every child in the ECDE centre will be getting porridge, an egg, and any other foods while in school,”Wamatangi said.
The county head said that he will also engage private facilities with ECDEs within the county that don’t have a feeding programme and deliberate on how the County can help to kick start the programmme.
To support ECDE education, Wamatangi said his administration has commenced construction of 180 EDCE centres. The Centres will adopt a model of twin classrooms to accommodate PPI and PP2, an office for teachers, an ablution block, and a play space for children. He added that he will refurbish the existing one.
“We have presented the ECDE bill at the county assembly to be passed where we have put the feeding programme stating that from now henceforth it will be law and mandatory that every child in the ECDE centre will be getting porridge, an egg and any other foods while in school,”Wamatangi said.
The Uji flour will be procured from established producers to ensure quality while the county government will buy eggs from farmers near the ECDE facilities as part of our economic empowerment program.
He launched this program at the county’s headquarters where he faulted the Competency Based Curriculum( CBC) recommendations that Pre-Primary(PP) classes be under the national government.
He said that this can only be possible if the 2010 Constitution is changed to facilitate the same as it stipulates that ECDE is under the county government.
“It’s unconstitutional for one to suggest that PPI and PP2 be domiciled in primary schools and be manned by headteachers. According to the constitution, the two levels of learning are under county governments,” he said.