School Feeding Centre Of Competency Launched In Tajikistan
DUSHANBE – On 19th of May the Republic of Tajikistan launched the country’s first-ever competency centre to promote school feeding in one of eight pilot schools, as part of a programme supported by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The country’s Deputy Minister of Education and Science Fathiddin Ismonov and the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Igor Lyakin-Frolov inaugurated the Centre of Competency for School Feeding at school Number 3 in the Norek district.
WFP, one of the key partners of Tajikistan’s School Feeding Programme, and representatives of local government also attended the inauguration. School Number 3 is one of eight pilot schools in the districts of Norek and Ayni which were chosen as models for the implementation of school feeding programmes.
Last year, the school’s kitchen and canteen were renovated with the support of parents and the local community. New furniture and equipment were provided by WFP in a bid to improve hygiene and efficiency. Experts revised school menus to reflect local eating habits and to make meals more nutritious. School cooks and managers also received additional training on food preparation, cooking and sanitary requirements.
Children and parents at the school took part in an awareness campaign to promote healthy eating habits and hygiene.
“School Number 3 has played a central role in this process. It will become a resource centre for the programme, providing support and educational materials, as well as organising workshops and training for schools throughout the country” said Nicolas Oberlin, WFP’s Representative in Tajikistan.
School meals help children to concentrate in class and act as an incentive to encourage poor households to send children, especially girls, to school and keep them there.
Following the Government’s decision to endorse a national school feeding policy in February, capacity-building activities, including Centres of Competency, have become a major component of Tajikistan’s School Feeding Programme. Activities are being spearheaded by an inter-ministerial council led by the first Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection. Lola Bobohojieva.
The Russian Federation is the largest donor to Tajikistan’s School Feeding Programme, which provides daily meals to 360,000 schoolchildren and their teachers in more than 2,000 schools across the country.
WFP which has supported Tajikistan’s School Feeding Programme since 1999 was represented by WFP Country Director Nicolas Oberlin, while Vladimir Chernigov represented WFP’s technical partner, the Social and Industrial Food Service Institute (SIFI) at the launch.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
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