Schools complain of disruption in milk distribution programme

Nursery and primary schools that have been getting free milk have expressed concerns over the unstable monthly provision which is affecting students.

The initiative by National Early Childhood Development Programme (NECDP) was meant to give children nutritious and balanced meals.

According to head teachers of various schools, they get milk once in a while and don’t know the reason.

It has left many schools and parents in a dilemma and there is little hope that milk will start to flow again on a regular basis.

The head teachers allege that there is enough supply but that the supply chain needs to be reorganised

Cecile Kayirangwa, head of Nkima Primary school in Huye District, said the milk had had a positive impact on the education of the children and had reduced the school dropout rate.

“When milk is available, you can’t find an absent student, including the sick ones”.

Kayirebwa said even though the milk is helpful, the problem is the delay and disorganisation in distributing it. She said they get milk one month and nothing the next.

“We received the first batch in November 2018 which was used until January, we got the second delivery on June 3” she said.

Andre Nsengiyumva of Nzove Primary School in Nyarugenge District said that they only received milk at the beginning of the programme and nothing afterwards. However, other schools in the same district are still receiving the milk.

That is the case of Leonard Ndagijimana, headmaster of Ruli ADPR Primary School, who said they get milk twice a week and it seemed very constructive for quality of education.

Anita Assimwe, Early Childhood Development Programme (ECDP) National Coordinator, acknowledged the problem when contacted by Saturday Times.

She said they provide milk according to the status of schools in terms of children’s family status. She added that, at the beginning, they provided milk to different schools but after assessment they removed some which had children from rich families.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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