National Breakfast Programme: A New Dawn for Bahamian Education
Launch of the National Breakfast Programme
The Ministry of Education and Technical and Vocational Training of The Bahamas has introduced a new initiative to provide breakfast to 2,500 primary school students. This pilot program, known as the National Breakfast Programme, is set to commence in October and is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister. The pilot phase will be implemented in selected schools across New Providence and the islands, including Columbus Primary, Ridgeland Primary, Sandilands Primary, Albury Sales Primary in New Providence, Rolleville Primary in Exuma, Holmes Rock Primary in Grand Bahama, Cherokee Sound Primary in Abaco, and Old Bight Primary in Cat Island.
Programme Details and Aim
The program is projected to cost around $1 million and is planned to run for the next academic year. Unlike the existing lunch programme, which caters to select students, the breakfast programme aims to provide meals to all students in the participating schools. These meals, designed to be hot and nutritionally balanced, will be available three days a week: Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays. These days were chosen based on the assumption that many families may struggle to provide food over the weekend.
The Selection Criteria and Expected Outcomes
The pilot programme intends to assess the effectiveness of the initiative. Schools were selected based on potential student challenges. The criteria included schools with a population below 600 and with attendance rates less than 89.2 percent in primary schools. Research has indicated that breakfast programmes can support struggling families, enhance student health and learning, provide nutritional support for children, lead to improved attendance rates, and result in fewer missed days and higher student performance.
Government’s Commitment and Future Plans
The Government is committed to ensuring that children have access to food while in school, promoting regular attendance, and providing quality instruction for human development. The success of the pilot will guide decisions about the potential expansion of the programme. There is a strong belief that the programme has the potential to significantly impact learning, student attendance, and quality outcomes for children and young people.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.