stories from our lives in Timor-Leste

School Kitchens and the School Lunch Program

by Curt

I’ve been busy visiting over 20 schools out in the districts for more than two months.  I was monitoring the school-based trainings on the material I presented in the Training of Trainers for the science phase of the Eskola Foun (New School) program through the Ministry of Education.  As usual, I learned many things and saw many things that made me hopeful for the future of education in Timor-Leste.

One thing I was meant to be observing was the process of the school lunch program, now mandatory at all schools grades k-9.  The goal of this program, just as those I’m familiar with in California, is to provide a free, nutritious meal to all kids so that food shortages and hunger will not be an obstacle to learning.  This has been a huge push by the Ministry and international partners, and was indeed happening, with considerable success, at each of the schools I visited.  The gallery below shows some of the realities of that program.

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3 responses

  1. WOW! What schools here in the states could do if they really wanted to. I guess you know that the Union, Classified union, did not go for the change at Alianza to use Revolution foods. ;( They have changed up the menu and are now offering more of a variety. I hope it is a healthy choice for our little ones but any food heated up in plastic packaging can’t be good at all. Just my thoughts.

    August 20, 2013 at 3:56 am

  2. It’s great to read about this program and how it works in the different schools you visited. I like the idea of each child bringing a piece of wood for the fire. When I lived in Lospalos I remember seeing the children walking to school each carrying a machete. This went on for several days, so I asked someone about it. It turned out they all had to help cut the grass on the school grounds which had grown long over the summer break. But the young girl (aged 15) I asked about it was angry. She resented having her learning time spent doing menial chores. “I go to school to learn, not to cut the grass!” she said.

    Always interesting to read your posts.

    August 20, 2013 at 9:12 am

  3. Pip Desmond

    I’ve just come across your great blog. Really appreciate your insights into education, Tara Bandu and other matters. My husband Pat and I are in Dili for two years with VSA, the New Zealand volunteer programme. We’ve got a blog too at http://www.patnpiptimor.wordpress.com
    Look forward to seeing more posts from you. Thanks. Pip Desmond

    September 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

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