There has been an uptick in enrollment in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centers in Machakos County following the introduction of the Free Feeding and Milk Programme by the county government, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Education Joyce Mwikali has revealed.
Speaking after Governor Wavinya Ndeti flagged off the second phase of foodstuff distribution to ECDE centers on Tuesday, the minister noted that one school recorded an increment of 60 children since the programme began.
“Our children are so happy. Yesterday we visited some schools and the number of children is enormous. One of the schools had 40 children when the programme began but there are 100 of them now,” she said.
Governor Ndeti flagged off the foodstuff to ECDE centres across all of the county’s nine sub-counties.
The Governor was accompanied by Deputy Francis Mwangangi at the flag-off ceremony and later at Katangi Primary School where they shared a meal with the children.
She said that she was perturbed by the increasing cases of children missing school due to lack of food.
“As I flag off the second phase of this ECDE feeding programme, I wish to assure our beloved parents of my commitment in supporting the dreams and aspirations of the young angels. As a leader, a mother and a mentor to our young ones, I do not want any child in Machakos County to miss the first step of their academic journey due to lack of meals,” she said.
The Governor also noted that proper nutrition was important for the children’s physical and cognitive development, reiterating that all ECDE centres will continue receiving the milk twice a week.
The County chief slammed rival politicians for politicizing her development programmes through propaganda and smear campaigns aimed at mud-sliding her projects.
“The same individuals who criticized our dam projects are at it again questioning why we are giving our young children milk at school. They also complained when we gave farmers free seeds and issued students with bursaries and scholarships. They don’t see anything good we do as a government,” she said.
By Stephen Muthini
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