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June 17, 2024

Revitalizing the ‘Maziwa ya Nyayo’ Initiative: A Promising Revival in Counties – GOSSIP A

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Revitalizing the ‘Maziwa ya Nyayo’ Initiative: A Promising Revival in Counties

For those who attended school during the presidency of Daniel Arap Moi, nothing compares to the sweet sensation of a ringing bell announcing the arrival of “Maziwa ya Nyayo.”

Most individuals recall with nostalgia the small packets of milk distributed in public schools to encourage students to remain enrolled.

School enrollment increased by more than 23 percent in the first year after the introduction of Nyayo milk, particularly in rural areas.

The school milk program, also known as Maziwa ya Nyayo, was initiated in 1979 and ran for nearly two decades until it was discontinued due to a lack of funding in the mid-1990s.

Let’s start on the right foot. Nearly three decades after the program ended, however, the reintroduction of school milk programs by more than a dozen county governments has rekindled memories of the free Nyayo milk of the 1980s and 1990s, sponsored by the administration of the late Moi.

Although the program is being implemented primarily for preschoolers, the goal remains the same: to keep students in school.

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The counties’ launch

Uasin Gishu, Mombasa, Embu, Nyandarua, Meru, and Murang’a are some of the counties that have implemented the school milk program.

Nixon Sigey, executive director of New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (New KCC), is seeking partnerships with county governments to launch the program in the devolved units. According to Sigey, the program is expected to increase enrollment and secure a stable market for dairy farmers. Mr. Sigey disclosed that at least ten counties have expressed interest in the project.

Nairobi, Nakuru, Laikipia, Kisii, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Nandi, Meru Narok, Kajiado, Samburu, and Isiolo are among the other counties where plans to introduce free school milk programs are well advanced.

In the county of Nairobi City, Governor Johnson Sakaja will launch a school feeding program that will include the introduction of school milk.

Mr. Sakaja stated in a recent interview, “We piloted the project in a few schools and observed a 100% increase in attendance while performance increased by more than 60%.”

Nairobi and the World Food Programme are collaborating on the project. The Uasin Gishu County Government launched a school milk program on Wednesday, which will benefit 40,000 students attending public early childhood education (ECDE) centers.

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The initiative launched by Governor Jonathan Bii aims to provide 40,000 young learners in 687 ECDE centers across the county with nutritious milk twice per week.

Education Executive Janet Kosgey stated that the county government has collaborated with New KCC to provide each child with a 200m1 pack twice per week for Sh60 million.

Recent research indicates that malnutrition levels in the county are increasing at an alarming rate, with 13% of students suffering from stunted growth and malnutrition.

The decentralized unit hopes that the initiative will increase school retention and improve the quality of education.

In the fiscal year 2023/2024, the Ministry of Education will allocate Sh4 billion to fund the program.

Principal Secretary of Basic Education Bello Kipsang, who officiated at the launch of the school milk project, disclosed that the country has doubled the allocation for school feeding programs from Sh2 billion in the current fiscal year to Sh4 billion in the 2023/2024 fiscal year.

While praising Governor Jonathan Bii’s initiative, he urged additional counties to implement similar retention programs for pre-primary students.

Revitalizing the ‘Maziwa ya Nyayo’ Initiative: A Promising Revival in Counties


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