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School Closures Will Impact Nutrition Needs Of Kids Dependent On Feeding Schemes

FILE: Volunteers at a soup kitchen. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – As the cases of COVID-19 increase in the country and schools continue to be closed, concerns are being raised about pupils who depend heavily on feeding schemes.

Schools are expected to be closed for a few months while government tries to contain the spread of the virus.

Education economist at Stellenbosch University, Dr Nic Spaull, explained the impact of school closures on pupils from poor households.

“A lot of children that go to school and get a free school meal when they go to school, it will start to affect their nutrition. And just to give you a sense of how many kids depend on that meal, there are about 13 million kids in the South African schooling system from grade R to grade 12 and 9 million kids receive a free school meal every day.”

He said that many pupils depended on feeding schemes.

“As much as 60% or 70% of children will be affected by not having those meals.”

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

EWN

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