The integration of school garden activities, the classroom and the feeding scheme : a case study of two primary schools in Tigray, North Ethiopia

Blom , Sofie Clara
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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In an increasingly complex world where food security remains a challenge in many areas and especially Africa; it is essential to educate children about food – from production to consumption; and to ensure they eat enough as this is a crucial factor for concentration and learning abilities. How can we teach children about food in a sustainable way? This study focuses on schools in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia, which have a school feeding programme, school garden and nutrition curriculum. The question studied is: To what extent do two primary schools in central- and east Tigray (North Ethiopia) integrate the feeding scheme, school garden and nutrition curriculum? The methodology chosen is a case study and the empirical data was collected through interviews, surveys and observations. Principals of 14 schools were interviewed about the school gardens, curricula and school gardens. Two schools were then selected for a further in-depth research. The school gardens, mostly initiated by the staff, serve the purpose of creating income for the school and teaching students the skills of gardening. The curriculum is standard for Tigray and focuses on different food types and creating a balanced diet. The school food in most schools is provided by the World Food Programme (WFP), but some exceptions exist. This research shows that integration between the three objectives will be beneficial. Obstacles include getting the staff ‘on board’ as a priority and controlling the unification of the three, for example schools feel that they have less ownership over the feeding scheme because it is organised by an external NGO. This study suggests stakeholders view school gardens, nutrition education and school feeding schemes under one umbrella for the ultimate benefit of creating a sustainable model to teach about food. The case study provides an insight to the specific challenges in Tigray, Ethiopia but important conclusions can also be generalised.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In ’n toenemend komplekse wêreld waar voedsel sekuriteit in baie gebiede, veral in Afrika ’n uitdaging bly, is dit baie belangrik om kinders oor voedsel op te voed - vanaf produksie tot by die verbruik daarvan, en ook om seker te maak dat hulle genoeg eet, wat baie belangrik is vir konsentrasie en die vermoë om te leer. Hoe kan ons kinders op ’n volhoubare manier leer oor voeding? Hierdie studie fokus op twee skole in Tigray, in Ethiopië wat skoolvoedingskemas, skooltuine en voedingkurrikula het. Die vraag wat gevra is, is: Tot watter mate integreer hierdie twee skole in Tigray die voedingskemas, die skooltuine en die voedingkurrikula? Die gekose metodologie is ’n gevallestudie. Empiriese data is ook deur middel van onderhoude, oorsigte en observasies versamel. Onderhoude oor skooltuine, voedingskemas en die kurrikula is gevoer met die skoolhoofde van 14 skole. Twee skole is toe gekies vir in-diepte navorsing. Die skooltuine bring geld in vir die skool en word ook gebruik om vir die leerling tuinmaakvaardighede aan te leer. Die kurrikulum is standaard vir die hele Tigray en word deur die Wêreld Voedsel Program verskaf. Daar is egter ’n paar uitsonderings. In hierdie navorsing is daar bewys dat die integrasie van die skooltuin, die voedingskema en die kurrikula, goeie gevolge kan hê. Dit is egter belangrik dat die skool personeel moet saamwerk en dat die vereniging van die drie beheer moet word. Skole voel bv. Tans dat hulle nie eienaarskap oor die voedingskema het nie, want dit word deur eksterne NROs beheer. Hierdie navorser stel voor dat die skooltuine, skoolvoedingskema en die voedingkurrikulum onder een sambreel beskou moet word met die doel om ’n volhoudbare model vir die onderrig van voeding te skep. Die gevallestudie verskaf insig in die spesifieke uitdagings in Tigray, Ethiopië, maar belangrike slotsomme kan ook veralgemeen word.
Thesis (MPhil) Stellenbosch University, 2014
Sustainable education -- Ethiopia, School gardens -- Ethiopia, Food education -- Ethiopia, Schools -- Health promotion services -- Ethiopia, School children -- Food -- Ethiopia, School children --Nutrition -- Requirements -- Ethiopia, UCTD, Dissertations -- Public management and planning, Theses -- Public management and planning