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Local control: how was the offsite Coordination Council meeting on school feeding in Rasht

In early November, the Interdepartmental Coordination Council on School Feeding went to the final meeting this year in the Rasht region.

The format of the offsite meeting of the Coordination Council is good because its members have the opportunity not through reports on paper, but in reality to see the implementation of the School Feeding Programme in the field. Know what works well and what doesn't. Analyze the current situation and find possible solutions to emerging problems.
On the eve of the meeting, members of the Coordination Council, together with representatives of the Department of Education and Science of Nurabad and Rasht districts, went to see how school meals are organized in four local schools: No. 14, No. 45, No. 10 of Nurabad district and No. 12 of Rasht district.

Schools in Nurabad district participated in WFP micro-projects to improve school meals. Thus, rabbit breeding was organized at school No. 14, beekeeping was organized at school No. 45, and cattle breeding at school No. 10. Cattle breeding was also organized at school No. 12 in the neighboring Rasht region. School farms make it much easier for schools to improve school feeding by diversifying the menu and providing additional income that can be used to purchase an additional set of products or pay for the work of canteen staff. Similar micro-grants are provided by WFP to other schools in the country to help develop school meals.

The meeting itself was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Health and Social Protection of the Population, Agriculture, Finance, the Tajikstandart Agency, SES, WFP, local executive authorities of the cities and districts of republican subordination of Rogun, Nurabad, Rasht, Tajikabad, Lakhsh and Sangvor, and also headmasters of local schools.

Traditionally, they discussed the implementation of the State Programme for the Development of School Feeding in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2022-2027, as well as the problems in organizing school meals that are faced in the region.

Deputy Chairman of the Rasht region Bakhtiyor Murodzoda noted that school meals are the main factor that affects the improvement of the quality of education. The representative of the Ministry of Finance, Anushervon Amonzoda, in his speech spoke about the sources of funding for the State Programme for the Development of School Feeding, and Shukhrat Obidjonov, WFP School Meals Specialist, shared information on the implementation of the School Feeding Programme in the Rasht Valley.

The problems common to most schools in the region, which were raised by the participants at the meeting, are similar to schools throughout the country: the sale of unhealthy products near schools, lack of funding, and others. The Deputy Chairman of the Rasht district, based on the speeches of representatives of ministries and departments, as well as local executive authorities, summarized all the identified problems in order to outline ways to solve them and work to improve the state of school feeding in the region.

Earlier this year, offsite meetings of the Coordination Council were carried out in Khatlon and Sughd regions. Next year, a meeting is planned in GBAO (Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region).