This report presents findings from a comprehensive study on the interplay between nutrition and education in Kyrgyzstan, focusing on the impact of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. The study examines the evolution of nutrition status, the influence of nutritional practices on child health and education, and the overall effects of the program.
Through a two-phase survey involving over 4,500 students and their households, the research reveals that the program positively influenced knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to nutrition. It emphasizes the crucial role of healthy and diverse nutrition in improving learning outcomes and cognitive function.
The study also examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and household livelihoods. It describes learning losses during school closures and showcases the program’s role in mitigating these adverse impacts.
Using advanced econometric methods and qualitative research, the study offers recommendations for future planning. It underscores the need to sustain and expand the program, improve learning environments at home, promote reading interventions through smartphone apps, encourage healthy snacking practices, and prioritize remedial education for affected students.
The report provides valuable insights for policymakers and practitioners, offering evidence-based strategies to enhance the well-being and educational outcomes of children in Kyrgyzstan.