Fez – An old much reiterated saying in Moroccan culture says: “when the stomach is full it commands the head to sing!” This may seem a meaningless idle talk to many, as it did to me before I started hitting the keyboard to write this article.
In the controversy about our Moroccan education and the alternate futile educational reforms we usually talk big and bombastically discuss different teaching philosophies, methods and approaches forgetting something that researches proved instrumental: It’s the student’s stomach because when the stomach is full it commands the brain and the cognitive faculties to function appropriately.
A study released Wednesday by non-profit group Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign finds that school breakfast is a key to future success and high school achievement. The study claims that kids who eat their school breakfast regularly miss less school and attend and average of 1.5 more days per year than their meal-skipping peers. Also, students who take their breakfast do better at math and get an average of 17.5 % higher scores and are less likely to have disciplinary issues.
The report goes on to say that these students who have more attendance and get higher scores are 20% more likely to graduate from high school and, thus, have better opportunities in their lives.
The non-profit group which is based in Washington D.C, USA campaigns to end childhood hunger and food insecurity in the USA by connecting needy kids with healthy food offered through Federal food and nutrition programs such as the School Breakfast Program and Summer Meals Program. The number of kids benefiting from reduced-price or free meals through these programs is increasing gradually as the Share Our Strength officials are looking to expand the initiative by including the schools that are currently not participating in these programs.
Back to Morocco, how dare we speak of quality education while a lot of students writhe with hunger in our classrooms! What about those in remote areas for whom hunger is manageable if compared to other obstacles?! When shall our education officials know that academic excellence and success is dependent on the welfare of students and teachers alike? In simple words, when shall they know that an ‘empty stomach cannot command singing?’
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