Experiences of the implementers of the school feeding programme in two schools in the Zambezi region, Namibia

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University of Namibia
The School Feeding Programme is used in Namibia as a poverty alleviation measure to ensure that poor and vulnerable learners who come from underprivileged families get to eat at least one meal a day and are able to stay and concentrate in school. However, poverty continue to afflict the Namibian people. The purpose of this study was to investigate implementers’ experiences of the School Feeding Programme in two schools of the Zambezi Region. The study of couched within two conceptual frameworks, Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The review of literature addresses aspects such as, the influence of the School Feeding Programme on Education, health and socio-economic consideration, the overview of different country cases of the school feeding programme, challenges and measures to implement the National School Feeding Programme. The study employed the constructivist paradigm rooted in the qualitative approach and a case study design of the two schools of the Zambezi Region of Namibia. Purposive sampling was used to select participants from the participating schools. The study utilised interview guide, focus group discussions and observations data collection instruments and data was analysed using content analysis, interpretive phenomenological analysis and semiotic analysis. The study observes the proliferation of strong evidence that the National School Feeding programme has potential to improve enrolment, attendance, retention and reduce dropout rates among poor and vulnerable children. The research establishes that a multiplicity of challenges threaten the running and implementation of the programmes and include chief among them, lack of training, minimal community participation due to lack of compensation, the absence of a School Feeding Programme policy, lack of proper kitchen utensils, lack of proper infrastructure, dining hall and secured storage facilities, lack of food fortification and diversification, poor health practices, poor coordination and lack of monitoring and evaluation. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture must develop a Namibian School Feeding Policy and improve the coordination of the programme. It exhorts the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform to support the School Feeding Programme. Schools are encouraged to intensify the monitoring of learners’ hygiene, guide cooks and promote food production training.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Educational Management & Administration)
Namibia, Experiences, Implementers, School feeding programme, Enrolment, Attendance, Poverty in Namibia, Zambezi region