SHIPO via its MAMMIE project planned and conducted the following activities in the period from January to March 2021:
Distribution of vegetable seeds in the project schools
Distribution and planting supervision of 8 types of vegetable seeds in all 24 schools was done in January 2021 where each school received vegetable amounts as per below summary:
- Chinese cabbage 208g
- Carrots 208g
- Sukuma wiki 125g
- Cabbage 167g
- Onions 125g
- Swiss chard 125g
- Mchicha 167g
- Pumpkin 833g
8,451 pupils including 4,251 boys and 4,200 girls; and 181 teachers including 89 male and 92 female are the expected beneficiaries of the undertaking.
Distribution of avocado seedlings in the project schools
A total of 440 avocado seedlings were distributed in the 4 newly recruited project schools namely: Figanga, Masaula, Sambala and Mbwila primary schools. The activity was done in January 2021. A total of 832 pupils (429 boys, 403 girls) and 21 teachers (15 male, 6 female) will benefit from the project that is also intended to improve the pupils’ nutrition as well as stabilizing the institution economic statuses.
Along with the seeds and seedlings, SHIPO managed to supply the gardening tools to all 24 schools where each school received the following:
- 5 Hoes
- 2 Rakes
- 3 Watering canes
- 10 Buckets
- 5 Weeding hoes
Monitoring of school gardens and avocado plantations in the project schools
All the 24 project schools’ gardens and avocado plantations were monitored. The supervisory visits were made by both SHIPO and government using their community development officer and ward agricultural extension officers respectively. The benefiting schools were advised on the proper agricultural practices of managing the gardens and plantations. All the schools had harvested and provided vegetables in the pupils’ school meals. 18 out of the previous 20 project schools had harvested avocado fruits where some were provided to pupils and the remaining sold to obtain funds that resolved some schools’ challenges including procurement of teaching aids and paying subsistence allowances for the volunteering teachers.
Participation in the training and dissemination of the national biofortification guidelines
SHIPO participated in the training and dissemination of the national biofortification guidelines that happened at SHIPO conference on the 3rd February 2021 under the facilitation of The Principal Agriculture Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture. The following were achieved:
- The national bio-fortification guidelines meeting was successful conducted as planned, and participants were very cooperative in sharing their thoughts towards improving the nutrition status in the region.
Provision of learning materials in the 24 project schools.
The textbooks were successfully distributed to all the 24 schools from the 16th to 18th March 2021. The benefiting pupils, teachers and school leadership were very grateful for the notable support as the respective subjects and classes; that is STD IV Science and Technology and STD V Social Skills textbooks were completely missing in all schools. Since the pupils to book ratio was 16 pupils: 1 book (2020) while the expected ratio is 10 pupils: 1 book (2021); extra efforts are needed to lessen the challenge that can greatly affect the pupils learning outcomes.
Post the textbooks distribution, there is still a notable deficit of the books where reference is made to the survey made. The survey indicated that 984 STD IV science and technology books and 927 STD V social skills books were needed. Since 525 STD IV Science and technology books and 520 STD V books were distributed; this denotes a deficit rate of 47% and 44% respectively; hence a call for more support from both government and the development stakeholders.
The support directly benefited 2205 pupils (1117 boys, 1088 girls). Since the pupil to book ratio has improved expectations are towards advancement of the learning outcomes in the 24 project schools.