Schools in Addis Ababa will provide free meals to students

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Pupils at state-run junior schools in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, are to receive free school meals from the start of the new academic year in October.

Zelalem Mulatu, deputy of the Addis Ababa City Education Bureau speaking to BBC said: “we are planning to feed more than 300,000 students.”

He said the city administration was expanding a scheme that had been feeding 70,000 pupils.

It is part of efforts to stop students at state-run schools from dropping out of education.

In July it was announced that all primary school pupils in Addis Ababa would be getting free uniforms and free exercise books from October.

Many students at publicly funded primary schools come from low-income families.

“This scheme will enhance student’s active learning,” Mr. Zelalem said.

“It will also be an incentive for children to come to school as well as an incentive for the parents to send their children to school.”

He said the initiative would also create job opportunities for unemployed parents, who were being recruited to cook the meals.

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