Lack of school lunch reduces student attendance

Lack of school lunch reduces student attendance
Lack of school lunch reduces student attendance

Africa-Press – Angola. In the last academic year, there was a reduction in the presence of students in schools in the municipality of Calumbo, municipality of Viana, province of Luanda, as there was no school lunch.

The information was released on Wednesday by the director of schools 5013 and 5014, Mateus Zua, at a meeting held by the administrator of Viana, Demétrio de Sepúlveda, with school managers in the municipality, one of the largest in Luanda province.

“In the commune of Calumbo, children deserve and need school lunches”, said Mateus Zua, stressing that, when they do not go to school, there are children who are taken by their parents to the farm to participate in agricultural activities, from which their sustenance comes of many families in the commune of Calumbo, a traditionally agricultural and fishing area.

The school manager emphasized the need to resume the distribution of meals to schools in the municipality of Calumbo, because when there is school lunch, students do not miss school, knowing that “they will satisfy their hunger”.

At the meeting, director Mateus Zua also said that among the biggest concerns of the Calumbo commune in the education sector are also the insufficient number of classrooms and the lack of water, electricity in schools, houses for teachers, school security and cleaning aids.

Mateus Zua asked the municipal administrator of Viana, with the intervention of the Provincial Government of Luanda, to find a solution to the problems presented at the consultation meeting.

When he said that there were insufficient classrooms in the municipality of Calumbo, Mateus Zua cited, as an example, school 5014, which only has three classrooms, whose number will increase, as it is already included in the Integrated Plan for Intervention in Municipalities (PIIM) .

School 5014 is located in the Mateia neighborhood, where children leave to study at Zango I, because that school has an insufficient number of classrooms to serve the entire local student population.

Children go on foot, when they don’t have the money to use public transport, and walk a “huge distance” to Zango I.

A “sea” of worries

In general, the concerns presented by the school directors who intervened in the meeting with the municipal administrator of Viana had similarities in form and content.

The director of primary school 5040, located in Kikuxi II, said that, due to lack of public transport, there are reports of students who are victims of assaults when walking to and from school.

José Caculo said that he had received information about the school dropout of children and adolescents who had already been robbed and others, for fear of being also victims of robbery on the public road.

Like several schools in Viana, the primary school of which José Caculo is the director needs cleaning assistants and needs to be rehabilitated and expanded.

The mobility of teachers has been based on a high financial cost, as teachers mainly use the informal taxi service, as there is a shortage of public transport buses.

“Teachers, for example, to get to the schools where they teach, spend between 1,500 and 2,000 kwanzas a day”, lamented José Caculo.

The school radiography of the Urban District of Baia was made by the local responsible for the Education sector, Fernanda Cuteta, who said that the poor conditions of the access roads to the four schools available to the district were among the biggest concerns.

The four schools are without fences and do not have enough desks or classrooms, informed Fernanda Cuteta, who defended, on the other hand, the need to have polytechnic institutes in the Urban District of Bahia.

Rehabilitation of schools

The administrator of the municipality of Viana revealed that, under the Integrated Plan for Intervention in Municipalities (PIIM), 17 schools will be rehabilitated and expanded.

Demétrio Sepúlveda added that there are also schools, whose number he did not mention, that will receive, later this year, “small interventions”, also within the scope of the PIIM.

The official stated that some of the concerns presented can be resolved by the Municipal Administration of Viana, while others through the intervention of the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Office of Education.

Demétrio Sepúlveda acknowledged that the municipality of Viana needs more public schools, as it still has a significant number of school-age children outside the education system.

According to the administrator, the towns in the municipality of Viana that have the greatest deficit of schools are the commune of Calumbo and the urban districts of Baía and Vila Flor.

As for the distribution of desks to schools, a problem also presented at the meeting, the administrator of the municipality of Viana informed that efforts made, with the involvement of the Ministry of Education, the Provincial Office of Education and partners, have already resulted in the assistance to some schools, and the process is underway so that more teaching and learning establishments can also receive them.

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