The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) with the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Provincial Education and Sports Services (PESS) and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Department with the Provincial Integrated Vocational Education Training (IVET) schools and colleges met from 4 to 5 August to discuss a collaboration between the National School Meals Programme and IVET schools and colleges in Laos.
The partnership with IVET schools follows the Government of Laos Policy on Promoting School Lunch (2014) where academic institutions contribute through technical support and advice to the National School Meals Programme, enhancing sustainability. Through the partnership, the IVET schools will provide practical assistance regarding agriculture, school meal cooking, food processing and preservation, and nutrition-related education to selected schools and communities.
“Many communities still face challenges to practice school meals due to poor maintenance of school gardens or insufficient knowledge of seasonal food storage and nutrition diversity. I delightedly look forward to this collaboration opportunity with provincial IVET colleges through our strong partnership with WFP,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phout Simmalavong, Minister of Education and Sports.
WFP has supported school feeding programmes in Lao PDR since 2002. In mid-2019, WFP successfully handed over school feeding programmes at 515 schools to the National School Meals Programme of the Government of Lao PDR and at 915 schools in 2021. After the handover, WFP continues to support the Government to strengthen its capacity to perform the school meals programme and improve nutrition quality of school lunches in various aspects including agriculture, income generation and community mobilization.“While the handover was indeed a milestone for school feeding programmes in Laos, we all understand that there is still a long way to go before the National School Meals Programme can consistently provide quality nutritious lunches to Lao schoolchildren. Therefore, WFP continues its technical support to the Government at all levels to improve the sustainability and quality of school lunches,“ said Mr. Jan Delbaere, WFP Country Director and Representative.
Source: Lao News Agency