Addis Ababa to Set up Agency to Run Free Meal Program

ADDIS ABABA – Addis Ababa City Administration is to set up an agency to manage the school feeding program that is currently providing free meals and school materials to over 300, 000 students at state-run junior schools in the capital.

Mayor of Addis Ababa Takele Uma officially launched the meal program in October as part of the city’s efforts to stop students at state-run schools from dropping out of education.

Authorities in the capital have now decided the whole program needs a formal body to administrate the work effectively and sustainably.

During its second regular session of the year, the city council ratified a bill to set up the agency to effectively run the students’ meal program.

It will be tasked to run the program that will make sure that students in the city are not dropping out of school due to lack of access to food and educational resources.

It will also be responsible to develop a system in which the administration and the community can contribute to the success of the program and will enable students to succeed in their education.

Many students at publicly funded primary schools come from low-income families. Authorities believe the scheme is currently enhancing the student’s active learning.

It has also become an incentive for children to come to school and for the parents to send their children to school, they said

The initiative has created job opportunities for 10,000 unemployed parents, who are recruited to cook the meals, according to education bureau of the city.

Image caption: city council voting on the bill on Friday afternoon [photo Mayor Office]

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