Ivory Coast: School Canteens Boost Success, Need Expansion

Study in Ivory Coast's Daloa region highlights the impact of school canteens. Successes noted where programs exist, but expansion urgently needed.

A recent study in the Daloa region of Ivory Coast spotlights the critical role of school canteens in educational success.  However, the data also reveals a stark reality: only 23.88% of the region's primary schools currently have canteens. This means that just a quarter of students benefit from the stability that a midday meal can provide.
A delegation, including officials focused on school canteens in Ivory Coast, visited two schools representing the opposite ends of the spectrum. Bégafla school group has offered a canteen since 2002.  Strong community support from an agricultural cooperative allows them to exceed the government-provided ration days.  The school director cites impressive academic results directly linked to the canteen program.  
In contrast, EPP M'Bahiakoffikro lacks a canteen.  Here, hunger is a major factor in school dropout rates. Students who remain describe their limited food options and express a longing for the nutritious meals they hear about from schools with canteens.
The delegation's findings underscore the positive impact of school canteens in Ivory Coast while highlighting the urgent need for expansion.  The case of the "Wobè Wognon" cooperative demonstrates the power of community partnerships but also reveals the ongoing challenges faced by those providing food.
With strategic investment and broader community involvement, school canteens could become a powerful tool across Ivory Coast.  This has the potential to improve childhood nutrition, increase school attendance, and bolster the long-term success of countless Ivorian students.

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