SAHRC supports reinstatement of school nutrition programme for all
Port Elizabeth - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has said that the decision not to reinstate fully the national school nutrition programme (NSNP), which has been suspended since the hard lockdown began in March, is catastrophic for learners from poor backgrounds.
The commission said it "notes with concern that the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) was suspended at the start of lockdown, and has yet to be comprehensively reinstated".
"The NSNP is a crucial programme that seeks to mitigate the effects of poverty while contributing to the constitutional rights to sufficient food and a basic education of learners in need. It does so by providing nutritious meals to qualifying learners.
"The commission said that the NSNP has been shown to improve access to education as well as learning."
The commission said the basic education department had informed it in May that the feeding programme would be reinstated on 1 June for all grades, not only for the Grades 7 and Grade 12s who were scheduled to return to schools on that day.
Noting that the minister, Angie Motshekga, on 1 June had retracted her undertaking, the commission said it was concerned the decision might impinge on"the rights to sufficient food and basic education of learners in need of food continue to be threatened"
"At the same time, the commission commends the Western Cape government for extending its school feeding programme to all grades.
"The commission takes note of legal proceedings instituted by Equal Education and others in this regard and looks forward to the swift resolution of the matter and the vindication of the rights of poor learners."
African New Agency/ANA
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