Masaka — Government has resolved to make it compulsory for all learners to have lunch and free sanitary pads while at school beginning next year.
A new circular that has gone out to all chief administration officers, district education officers and Resident District Commissioners across the country, says provision of lunch to all learners in public schools has been made compulsory as a requirement for better learning environment.
Mr Tonny Mukasa Lusambu, the assistant commissioner in charge of primary education at the Ministry of Education and Sports, said in Masaka Town this week that the circular requires all schools to strictly implement a feeding programme.
His pronouncement came at the launch of the 'Safer school, better reading' programme. He noted that the ministry acknowledges that lack of a uniform policy regarding pupils' lunch while at school was affecting academic performance in most schools.
The guidelines require all head teachers to agree with their respective school management committees on an affordable way of ensuring that all learners are fed while at school.
"The ministry has also developed policy guidelines to ensure that every teacher and parent understands the intention," he noted.
Mr Lusambu further explained that the ministry has instructed local authorities to ensure total compliance by all parents for purposes of securing a better learning environment for their children.
In addition, the Ministry of Finance has approved an increment of Shs2,000 on each pupil's capitation grant to cater for sanitary wear.
Mr Lusambu revealed that beginning next term, each school will be required to equip all senior women teachers with sanitary kits to help them attend to cases of menstrual emergencies that have been another contributor to girl-child school dropouts.