WANEP PRESS RELEASE Nutrition Education Programme in Lower Basic Schools gaining momentum

WANEP PRESS RELEASE

Nutrition Education Programme in Lower Basic Schools gaining momentum

A new scheme designed to address malnutrition and unhealthy eating habits through nutrition education at the Lower Basic School level in the country is gaining momentum.  The Nutrition Education Programme, (NEP), being piloted in 15 schools in regions 2, 4 and 5, is targeting pupils in grades 2, 4 and 6. The initiative being supervised by the FAO is supported by the Technical Assistance component of the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Project, dubbed FASDEP TA. Improving nutrition is fundamental to achieving FAO’s vision of a world without hunger. Having physical and economic access to food on their own is not sufficient to ensure that people are food secure and well nourished. The scheme seeks to improve pupils’ understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet, the importance of good nutritional practices as well as influence positive attitudinal and behavioural changes in their day to day nutritional practices in the home and in school. Nutrition teaching in class will be linked to practical demonstrations in school gardens. This blended learning is envisaged to consolidate the understanding of food, nutrition and good eating behaviour.
In a bid to ensure the successful implementation of the intervention, a team of nutrition experts from the FAO, Country and regional offices, the National Nutrition Agency and a senior education officer from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, recently concluded a monitoring tour of 11 out of the 15 participating schools. The team interviewed teachers and interacted with pupils to gauge the use of the nutrition education materials supplied to schools with a view to understanding the effectiveness of the piloted scheme. The team also met with Regional Education directors in all the three regions during which they discussed means of addressing challenges in the implementation of the project. The team noticed that both the teachers and the pupils have huge interest in the nutrition education program. The pupils were also able to name foods, fruits and vegetables with good nutrient values. However, the major challenges highlighted during the visit included lack of adequate books and gaps in the teaching of the subject matter. Meanwhile, a total of sixty-seven master teacher trainers are being trained for them to train some 120 teachers of grades two, four and six in all the three regions with a view to addressing the gaps in the implementation of the project.
FAO PRESS RELEASE