Earlier this week, during lunch break, I saw a student with a plate of food. What caught my attention was the portion size of the food.
This is a sample of the Twenty naira worth of food being sold to students in my school. “Is this a meal or a snack?” I questioned myself!
Many children in public schools go to school without breakfast. For many kids in my school, this twenty naira meal at lunch is usually the first meal of the day.
In terms of quantity and quality, the meal is poor but for my kids and many other students, it’s better than nothing.
How can children concentrate in class when they are hungry?
Several studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between students’ nutrition and learning process.
As simple as hunger sounds, it can lead to poor school learning outcomes. A malnourished or hungry child is less able to learn, suffers from poor concentration, decreased energy levels, and affected cognition.
Poor nutrition also reduces the body’s ability to fight disease and infection. Hence, these kids are at higher risk of developing illnesses which can also affect their ability to learn and lead to increased absenteeism at school.
Parents and school managements need to do their best to ensure that children gets quality nutrition. Parents should e educated on the importance of good nutrition for children and food sold to the students at school should be checked by quality control officer.
For school feeding programme, close monitoring is necessary to ensure that children are served quality meals.
Every child has a right to good food!