Ministries of education and health carry out national training for Kenya’s school meals programme

Agricultural training participants

In order to strengthen the implementation of Kenya’s Home Grown School Meals (HGSM), Kenya's Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health with support from Partnership for Child Development (PCD), World Food Programme and Dutch Development Organisation, SNV recently carried out a national training exercise with school feeding implementers, across 70 counties and sub-counties in Kenya.

Kenya's HGSM programme sees that local food is purchased from smallholder farmers and delivered to schools for use in the production of school meals. Not only does this provide smallholders with a reliable market to which they can sell their product but it ensures school children of a free school meal, encouraging them to go and stay in school and to be more likely to concentrate whilst there. In addition, the HGSM programme also promotes the local livelihoods of others involved along the school feeding supply chain such as food transporters and caterers.

The training exercise was divided into two phases, initially training stakeholders involved in the agricultural side of the programme before carrying out school level trainings.

HGSF Agricultural Component Trainings

The initial phase of trainings, which ran from 13 – 29 May 2013 were carried out among a total of 345 county heads and directors from education, health and agriculture county departments, to raise awareness and enhance the role and involvement of Kenya’s decentralized regions and to increase the capacity of those involved along the school feeding supply chain.

PCD among partners delivered presentations which covered topics on: an overview of the programme and its history and background, partner roles and links, governance and accountability, procurement of food commodities, reporting and monitoring, ways to ensure food quality, safety, and funding and financial management. The training also offered participants the chance to discuss challenges faced in implementation through group sessions before giving an evaluation of the trainings.

HGSF School Level Trainings

The second phase of training, which was carried out in July and continued in August saw over 3,400 participants targeted from 1717 schools, where teachers are brought together from beneficiary schools to share experiences and challenges in implementing the HGSM programme.

To carry out this exercise, representative head teachers and school meals teachers from schools of the counties and sub-counties were grouped together and trained by Trainers of Trainers (ToTs) on the background and implementation guidelines of HGSF, as well as clarifying areas that were misunderstood or not well implemented.

These workshops covered topics on: the dual objectives of the programme (for farmers and school children), education and agriculture; roles and responsibilities of partners at the school level; procurement procedures, financial management and record keeping; linking the HGSM programme to agriculture; food quality and management; and governance and accountability.

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