8 April 2009
Over 400 quintile one high schools in KwaZulu-Natal will soon be able to provide a hot meal to their impoverished learners as a result of the government’s school nutrition programme.
A quintile is a national ranking method used by the Department of Education to measure how poor a school is, with quintile one being the poorest of all.
Speaking in Durban on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Ina Cronje said the department would extend the programme to 431 quintile one high schools which were in dire need of food.
“Our ideal as the department is to provide meals for all the poor schools regardless whether it a primary or secondary school. We want all the hungry learners to be fed in our schools,” said Cronje.
She said the department received an additional R22-million in October 2008 from the National Treasury for quintile one secondary schools that had enrolled in the programme.
“The total amount the department will be speeding for the nutrition programme in the high schools is R555-million for 2009/10 financial year,” said Cronje.
Cronje also stated that the department is currently providing the nutrition programme to 3 924 primary schools in the province, especially rural schools that fall under the quintile one.
“We started at the primary schools because the children there are more vulnerable to malnutrition,” she said.
Through the programme, over 1 079 high school learners will be benefit from the programme, which has been extended from 174 school days to 187 school days, with Cronje adding that the aim was to feed learners for all school days, funding permitting.