Enrolment in 10 primary schools of Traditional Authority (T/A) Khombedza in Salima has increased from an average of 700 last year to 1 200 this year.
Authorities have attributed the development to the school feeding programme which Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) is implementing in the area with funding from Swiss Red Cross.
Head teachers Mary Kamanga and Otis Mwale of Msambafumu and Nchepa primary schools respectively confirmed the increase during a media tour on Friday.
“Since the [school feeding] programme started, the enrolment has increased,” said Kamanga.
Her counterpart, Mwale, said when the programme started by the community, it was facing challenges until when MRCS took over.
MRCS project officer for Salima, Manfoster Moyo, said the programme’s lifespan is eight months, but the results in the first two months have shown that enrolment has improved in all the targeted schools.
He said the programme targeted this period because the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (Mvac) hunger forecast for Salima is 259 737 people which gave the assumption that some children might drop out of school because of hunger.
“You wouldn’t expect more learners in schools when there is no food. This is the reason we introduced the programme so that they are not affected,” he said.
The organisation has also supported the schools with farming materials to grow crops to sustain themselves after the programme phases out.