DUSHANBE - Key stakeholders of Tajikistan’s School Feeding Programme, which benefits almost 360,000 schoolchildren with support from the World Food Programme (WFP), have gathered in Dushanbe, to evaluate the current programme, share experiences, address challenges and draft an action plan for the future
The workshop - part of the World Bank’s Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) - was chaired by Ms. Lola Bobohojieva, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection and attended by a broad range of people including, Mr. Fathiddin Ismonov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Mr Vladislav Kurnushko, Adviser to HE the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Tajikistan and Representative of the Rossotrudnichestvo, and Mr. Nicolas Oberlin, WFP Country Director. Other participants included representatives from ministries, district education departments, the national Nutrition Institute, Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) and the private sector.
“This a landmark event, not only to identify all the challenges and opportunities facing Tajikistan in the transition phase to a nationally owned School Feeding Programme, but also to gather meaningful support from all stakeholders in this crucial phase,” said Ms. Lola Bobohojieva, First Deputy Minister of Health and Social Protection and Chairperson of the National Inter-ministerial Council on School Feeding.
The workshop gave participants an opportunity to address some of the challenges of the programme while contributing concrete recommendations for the future. The participants reviewed internationally-recognized quality standards related to the legal framework, institutional capacities, design and implementation of the programme, as well as budgetary aspects and community involvement.
The workshop looked at ways to integrate school feeding in per capita financing scheme for schools; the development of national standards for hygiene and sanitation in educational institutions; and the role of PTAs. The stakeholders’ recommendations on these issues will be reflected in the forthcoming national school feeding strategy and will guide programme adjustments and implementation.
Tajikistan’s school feeding programme is the largest activity supported by WFP in the country. It provides a daily hot lunch to almost 360,000 schoolchildren in over 2,000 schools in rural Tajikistan. The programme started in 1999 with just 5,000 schoolchildren in 33 schools and has since expanded to reach 60 percent of all rural schools in the country in 2015. The Russian Federation has been a major donor to Tajikistan’s School Feeding Programme since 2005 and actively supports the current transition process.
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