This week Education Times takes refuge in the dining rooms of our schools to find out what our children are being fed on. We found out that there is clearly a difference between public and private schools when it comes to feeding.
While most public schools seem to go with a conservative diet of rice, posho (maize meal) and beans, some private schools offer a diet anyone would envy. It is no surprise too that in such schools teachers always eat the same food as their students.
The point though is that a balance ought to be found between feeding the children satisfactorily so they can attend their lessons in peace and feeding them in a manner that will see them grow and develop.
Any teacher will tell you how difficult it is to sound relevant in front of a group of students who are only waiting for the sound of the lunchtime bell. Afternoons are also known to be tough times to harness the students’ attention after meals.
In short, a hungry child and one who is struggling to digest starchy foods on a hot afternoon are not a good audience for a teacher. School going children need to eat but they also need to eat right.
Given a choice, many students will indulge in sweets, biscuits, chocolates and soft drinks and yet these do not meet their nutritional demands. It is quite commendable that the government of Rwanda is working towards rolling out a One-Cup-Of-Milk-Per-Child programme so as to fight malnutrition among children in schools.
A good diet coupled with proper exercise and sleep will go a long way in ensuring that students stay alert and focused in class. As a general rule we should all eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water.