The Ministry of Education says it has doubled the government’s school feeding contribution fees from Rwf35 billion last year to Rwf78.2 billion this fiscal year (2022/23).
The programme meant for public schools and government sponsored schools aims to improve enrollment, retention, and quality of education.
The figures were announced on March 4, as the country plans to join the world in celebrating school feeding programme this year.
“Every child should have an equal opportunity for education. Celebrating school feeding day is a right time to consider that it is each parent’s responsibility to make sure that a child gets meals at school,” part of the statement reads.
According to data from the Ministry of Education, parents contribute Rwf975 per student per term (three months) towards school meals, and the government pays Rwf8,775 per student per term.
According to the data, the parent funds 11% of the total Rwf9,750 for school meals per term, while the government pays the remaining 89% of it.
A research that was conducted by the Ministry of education in 2019 indicated that the average cost of a base meal per student was Rwf150.
That was meant to provide a foundation meal which include fortified maize meal, fortified oil, avocado, amaranth, beans, iodized salt, and milk. The cost however, could have doubled, even tripled due to market trends.
Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education told the media last year that the Government decided to make a bigger contribution to school feeding than parents so as to solve the funding challenge that this programme was faced with.
She stated, “Previously, we asked a parent to pay 60% of the cost of school meals, with the government covering 40%. We hope the new initiative will address the problem where some parents lacked the financial resources to make the required contribution.”