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Tajikistan starts to improve the database for collecting information on school meals

Organizing school meals is not only about preparing food according to all the rules and regulations, setting the tables and cleaning up dirty dishes.

“Behind-the-scenes” there are still many details that are not obvious at first sight. One of these “behind-the-scenes” elements of the organization of school meals is statistics.

The collection of statistical data on schools: their number, characteristics, the number of pupils who eat, the state of canteens and many other indicators make it possible to form a complete picture of school meals in the country, to understand where and what needs to be improved, what to look up to.

All of this is necessary to develop a sustainable school meals programme for all primary school students in the country. At the first stage of the WFP School Meals Programme implementation (2013-2017), together with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan SIFI introduced the Maktab module for collecting information about school meals into the EMIS database system, which the Ministry works with.

The module allows to collect and store statistical information on school meals organization in the country. But over the years of usage, it turned out that in the context of today's realities, the module needs to be improved.

As a result, the SIFI team prepared “Additional Criteria” for data collection, as well as a methodological guide for collecting, processing and analyzing this data.

It was decided to start the process of improving the module by testing new questionnaires to collect data in 60 pilot schools. This week we tested how convenient and clear the questionnaires are for the representatives of education departments and schools. Further, based on this testing, detailed instructions will be drawn up on how to work with the system.