Through the use of the School Data Management System (SDMS), schools will be able to easily access the funds allocated to them by the government for the school feeding programme, the ministry of education has said. According to Gaspard Twagirayezu, the Minister of State in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education, the system will solve the issues of delay in receiving the funds in some schools which encountered such problems in the past. He added that the SDMS system allows head teachers to record all their students, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning can easily access the system which allows them to know the amount of money they allocate to the schools. “For instance, every quarter we have to re-evaluate the number of students and how much money to give to the schools, which sometimes takes a long time and delays the funds, however by continuously working with the ministry of finance then the issue will be solved,” Twagirayezu added. Over Rwf6.7 billion is expected to be spent in the school feeding programme in the second term of the academic year that started this week on January 10. However, for the programme to run smoothly, parents too have to contribute to the programme. “With the start of the new term we are encouraging schools to continuously communicate to parents the importance of contributing,” he said, encouraging parents to contribute according to their means. “We will not limit the forms of contributions. For instance, the parents cannot have money, but they can have food which can also contribute to the school, as a form of payment,” he added. The government support consists of Rwf56 per day as contribution to each student’s feeding while at school, and over Rwf27 billion has been allocated by the Government of Rwanda for the fiscal year, while parents are expected to contribute Rwf94 per student per meal. Donata Akayezu, the headmistress of Groupe Scolaire Mwanza in Huye District said that they had encountered delay of funds in the past terms when the programme was extended to primary school. With the new system, she is optimistic that the challenge will be addressed. “It is easier to use the system because it already includes all the students’ records, so it will take a few days to be approved and receive the funds we need and be able to feed our students,” she added.