10.05.2005 Regional News

Schools Benefit from Feeding Programme.

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Bolgatanga, May 10, GNA - Nursery and primary school children benefiting from the Evangelistic International Ministries (EIM) feeding programme in the Bolgatanga municipality are found to have improved both in physical and mental conditions.

The food programme has helped to build the children physically and mentally with an improved intelligence quoscient (IQ). A nurse of the Bolgatanga hospital, Mr. Gilbert Azanto, who has been contracted by the Ministries to monitor the growth and performance of the children since it started the feeding programme a year ago, made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in the Upper East Regional capital on Tuesday.

Mr. Azanto's assertion was further corroborated by the head of the Bolgatanga model primary school, Madam Agartha Ayariga, who said the programme had increased enrolment, teaching and learning, in addition to reviving the community's interest in the school.

The EIM, an American NGO, made a follow-up to the school recently and presented 6,250 cartons of protein fortified dehydrated vegetable blend to the regional education service (GES) on behalf of nursery and primary schools in the municipality.

Mr. Moses N. Adjekwei, EIM director of Africa who made the presentation, said the ministries which started its operation last year had fed and de-wormed 26,000 school children in Bolgatanga. He said apart from the feeding programme the Ministries hoped to start a long-term intervention known as the Food for Education programme comprising rice, maize and beans with a grant from its US partners at the end of negotiations with the government.

Mr. Adjekwei appealed to the government to give recognition to the ministries to implement the programme without further delay. Mr. Francis Ayaaba, a director at the GES, who received the food on behalf of the schools, thanked the donors for their timely intervention, saying the authorities would monitor the distribution of the food to ensure that children benefit from the programme.

He appealed to the Ministries to extend the programme to certain second-cycle day schools in the region to enjoy at least one lunch a day because most students in these schools find it difficult to study because of hunger.

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