Makaikhola School Tuckshop Trial
Makai Khola School Tuckshop
Makai khola is a resilient farming community nestled in the foothills of the Annapurna range. Only 40 kilometres east of Pokhara, traveling to Makai Khola requires a 5 hour bus ride and a 2 hour trek due to mountainous terrain and poor road conditions. The Janakalyan Secondary School and Resource Centre serves students in the village of Makai Khola and the surrounding eight villages in the area.
Many children from the poorest families in Makai Khola were starting their school day without breakfast and would often leave school before recess break due to hunger. Others were not attending school at all, spending school hours working in the fields with their parents or caring for their younger siblings.
In November 2013, Krishna Subedi, a concerned teacher, proposed providing lunch for students to encourage them to stay in school all day andincrease daily school attendance. A community meeting organized by the school and community leaders proposed the lunch program idea to all parents of children attending Janakalyan School. Allparentsstrongly supported the program. As a result of one teacher's passion for the students in the Makai Khola community, the Tuckshop was launched in August 2014.
The Tuckshop project is a 5-day a week lunch program run by the local women’s group in collaboration with the primary school teachers.
The program provides students with a nutritious lunch five days a week. A local mother cooks the daily meals andthe local women’s group helps serve the lunch on a rotational basis. This program is being trialled until March 2016 to explore the impact of the lunch program on school attendance at Janakalyan School.
· Increase student attendance in Makai Khola and surrounding villages.
· Provide a healthy daily meal for students.
· Raise awareness of healthy nutrition and hygiene practices through education.
· Encourage parent participation in their child’s education.
· November 2013 - Krishna, a primary school teacher presents her idea to Upside's partner organization, Maitri Ratna
· August 2014 - Tuckshop program begins at Janakalyan School
· April 2015 - Upside meets with school headmaster and coordinating teacher to listen to their thoughts on the impact of the program and collect attendance data.
· April 2016 - Upside to visit Janakalyan School and explore the impact of the lunch program on school attendance with the teachers and school headmaster.
Daily Tuckshop attendance - 65 students
Cost per meal: $0.39/ student
Average cost per month: $380 - $500
Assessment of program impact
· Compare yearly school attendance records of students participating in the Tuckshop program
Two local women have been trained in:
· Management of cooking roster
· Financial management of program
· Record-keeping of participants in program
What we have learned
· Students are attending class for the full day.
· To succeed, a local leader must drive the program.
· Community support is vital to the success of a program.
· Increase in school attendance
· Decrease in the student dropout rate
· Development of local enterprise to financially sustain the Tuckshop program
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