40,000 nursery school kids in 654 Early Childhood Development Education centres in Uasin Gishu County are set to benefit from a Sh60 million free milk programme.
The Uasin Gishu County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Education, Dr Janet Kosgey, said the programme to be funded by the County has already been approved for implementation by the County Assembly.
Dr Kosgey said they were only waiting for the procurement and the branding process to be done for the targeted early learners to start receiving free milk at their respective ECDE centres.
She said the noble initiative would go a long way towards ensuring the children are kept in school as well as uplifting the standards of education in the region.
Addressing more than 300 ECDE tutors during a meeting in Eldoret, the CECM said they were in the process of coming up with a method on how the learners would be receiving the milk either once or twice weekly.
“The programme is aimed at providing nutritional value, especially to learners who come from poor backgrounds in far-flung rural areas,” said Dr Kosgey.
“With the introduction of a free milk programme in our ECDE centres, we are looking forward to attracting and retaining more learners and reducing cases of absenteeism and desertion from school among the learners,” she added.
She also announced that the devolved unit has allocated enough money towards the purchase of teaching and learning materials in all its ECDE centres to ensure quality education is offered to the children.
According to Dr Kosgey, part of the money was used towards the purchase of textbooks and stationery that included pencils, dustless chalks, plasticine and erasers.
The county executive reiterated the regional government’s commitment towards elevating levels of academic standards with special emphasis on having a functional ECDE programme in primary schools.
In her remarks, Chief Officer for Education and Vocational Training Madam Ruth Samoei, called on the teachers to uphold professionalism when on duty in order to lay a firm foundation for young learners who are the great future for the county.
She urged them to be accountable when the milk programme will be rolled out to ensure the milk reaches and benefits the intended children.
“You can imagine a whole future is getting buried because of that one teacher who is careless, teachers wake up and kindly be devoted to your work,” she said.
Governor Chelilim last week revealed that the county disbursed Sh 22 million for equipping the ECDE institutions with teaching and learning materials, noting that education is the foundation of economic growth, social progress and poverty reduction.
By Kiptanui Cherono and Judy Too