A hungry learner is an unproductive learner and it is for this reason that the Tiger Brand Foundation has joined with the Department of Basic Education to provide the learners of Alexandra in Gauteng with a nutritious breakfast each day.
The project, which will run for three years, currently provides breakfast and lunch to 13 schools in Alexandra, an area infamous for its adverse economic conditions. Twelve of these schools have also been provided with container kitchens to provide tasty nutritious meals to the learners.
Representatives from the National Department of Basic Education, the Gauteng Education Department and the Tiger Brands Foundation gathered at Ekukhanyisweni Primary School on Tuesday 6 February, 2012, to share in the milestone of the millionth breakfast served by the project.
The project also has a research aspect, with data collected from the scheme to be used to analyse the impact of school feeding schemes that include breakfast for learners.
Addressing learners and dignitaries at the school, Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy thanked the Tiger Brands Foundation for “this important partnership”.
“We are very excited to work on this project which puts food in the tummies of these young learners. If learners come to school hungry they are unable to concentrate; unable to learn, so this project will allow us to handle our core business of learning and teaching knowing that learners are well fed,” said MEC Creecy.
Deputy Director-General at the National Department of Basic Education, Gugu Ndebele hailed the programme, saying that it fits in perfectly with the Department’s National School Nutrition Programme.
“Currently the NSNP provides all learners at no fee schools with a healthy, nutritious and balanced lunch but we are looking at expanding the programme to breakfast as well, depending on the outcome of this project,” Said the DDG.
“If breakfast was available at schools it would definitely help these learners concentrate in class and hopefully also ensure that they are all here on time every morning ready to learn. We will be monitoring the research from this project very closely to see how it could benefit the NSNP.”