Influence of feeding programmes on academic performance of 3-8 year old children in Mathira West Zone, Mathira West District, Kenya
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This study sought to assess the influence of feeding programmes on academic performance among ECDE children in Mathira West zone, in Mathira West District. This study was interested in finding out if the quality of the institutions based feeding programmes results into good performance. The target population was all ECDE children in the fifteen schools in Mathira West Zone, Mathira West District, Kenya. The total number of children was six hundred in the Zone. Table 3.1 shows the target population. The researcher used convenience and purposive sampling to select 6 schools (3 with feeding programme and 3 without feeding programme). From each of the 6 schools, the researcher studied 25 children and their parents. Twelve teachers were studied, two from every sampled school. In this study, the researcher used a questionnaire, structured interview guide and performance tests to measure the variables. Target questions were used in the questionnaire. Questionnaires were generally preferred for this study because they ensured that a wider range of respondents' perception is captured. The researcher also used an interview guide to enrich responses and filled in the information gaps. Performance tests were used to ascertain the performance of the children in the area of study. The researcher visited the selected schools and created a rapport prior to the collecting of data. The set of questionnaires were administered in two 'ways; drop and pick and personally administered questionnaires. The drop and pick method was used where the respondent were busy. These were collected a week after they are distributed, according to the instructions given to the respondents beforehand. The questionnaire had adequate instructions and easy-to-understand language. The study established that perception of the quantity of food was diversified for the parents and the teachers. It is true that academic performance was distinct according to the state ofECD centre, whether with feeding programme or without. It was proven that academic performance was influenced by availability of feeding programmes. The study made the several recommendations to the relevant stakeholders. The study recommends that. the government of Kenya should finance school feeding programmes in the area of study. It was also recommended from the fmdings that ECD teachers should sensitize the ECD parents on the importance of school feeding programmes and how they affect academic performance. Again, all ECD centres should enact a feeding programme.