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Article Published In Vol.12 (Jan-Feb 2024)

History and importance of school canteens in Benin

Pages : 72-74, DOI:

Author : AKPOLI Mahunan Léocadie and BEHANZIN Gbèssohèlè Justin

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In Benin, obstacles to universal access to primary education persist. In rural areas, enrolment and attendance rates remain low due to several factors. Families living in poverty may not be able to afford to send their children to school; although the government has eliminated primary school fees, parents still have to buy school uniforms and supplies. There is also an opportunity cost associated with sending girls to school, rather than keeping them at home where they can help their mothers with household chores and look after their younger siblings (School canteens in Benin to improve student enrolment and retention, in partnership with parents’ associations, 2008). This study aims to assess the importance and history of school canteens in Benin. The method used was a descriptive, analytical and longitudinal survey with a diagnostic aim, based on questionnaires and data processing. The results obtained are as follows: from 2000 to 2002, Benin had 144 schools with canteens, 1325 in 2014. In 2O15- 2016, Benin reached a coverage rate of 31%, i.e. 2566 schools. In 2018- 2019, 1600 schools were added, for a total of 3179 schools (51%). In 2021, 3350 schools and 5356 schools for a coverage rate of 75% in 2022. These results highlight the key role of school canteens in student retention, and suggest the need for further investigation into the differentiated effects of school canteen types and other socio-economic factors on performance and retention. Hunger need no longer be a barrier to children’s education.

Keywords: impact, school canteens, performance, pupils, Benin.



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