By: Hilya Ngolo
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched the Namibia School Feeding Information Management System (Nasis) in Windhoek this week. The initiative aims to improve monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the Namibia School Feeding Programme (NSFP) in government schools.
Chief Education Officer Simon Mupupa said that transforming the programme entails that they are looking at operational efficiency and effectiveness through digital transformation.
“The system will be used to capture information of all kinds in terms of the school feeding programme, to know exactly where there are shortcomings and challenges,” Mupupa added.
This will help the government to provide the information and data when it is required at the right time.
The NSFP was established in 1996 as a safety net to assist learners, especially those from vulnerable and food-insecure households, for them to have the ability to learn.
The Ministry started feeding learners with soft pap to address immediate hunger for them to eat and be able to concentrate in the classroom. And as time went on, they have been modifying and enhancing the school feeding programme.
The school meal has been diversified by adding more nutritious food to the plate to improve the growth rate of the children because the soft pap alone is not sufficient. Therefore, with more items added to the plate, means more nutrition, more growth, and better capacity of the learners.
Furthermore, Mupupa stated that the programme has been experiencing challenges. The cooking shelters, where the community and the parents are assisting and supporting the Ministry by preparing the meals for the learners, are not up to standard.
Therefore, the designed system “will help us to capture this information quickly in a click and help them to coordinate better the activities of the school feeding programme” Mupupa added.
Over 1,500 schools participate in the feeding programme, the system helps the Ministry to see which schools don’t have facilities such as cooking shelters and pots, serving areas.