Basic education department can’t afford breakfast

Millions of hungry learners will not be offered breakfast. This decision follows a suggestion by the planning, monitoring and evaluation department that the possibility of a morning snack be investigated.

The department of basic education this week ruled out providing breakfast, saying that, although it would be ideal, it was not in a financial position to do so.

But the education department is exploring the idea with corporates.

The planning department, which compiled a report on the national school nutrition programme after evaluating its effect on learners and the effectiveness of the rollout, mooted the idea of providing a morning snack.

It suggested the idea after it was found that some schools were unable to have meals prepared by 10am and that as an intervention for short-term hunger “it is ineffective”.

The Western Cape and Gauteng are the only two provinces that are known to be providing breakfast and lunch to learners. The others provide lunch only.

More than 9.6-million learners at 21 177 schools nationally benefited from the feeding scheme in the past financial year.

The budget for the new financial year, which started on April 1, is R6.4-billion.

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