Stunting, Wasting, and Education in Nigeria
Globally, the number of primary school children with nutritional deficiencies is high. This rapid review focuses on children with such deficiencies (namely stunting and wasting), and how it affects them throughout their primary education. Although the focus is on Nigeria, other country examples and their approaches to address this issue are also included, where available. Key points include as hungry children find it difficult to concentrate (Muiru et al., 2014; Foodbank, 2015; Businge, 2016), their learning needs and outcomes are different to well-nourished children. Countries respond to these children in different ways: the most popular being school feeding programmes, e.g. in India, which has a high prevalence of stunting and wasting, there is the free Midday Meal Scheme, which is the largest such scheme in the world (Singh et al., 2012). However, such approaches have varying impacts: positive effects on measured learning were found in Burkina Faso and Peru (World Bank Group, 2018). However, in Kenya, providing school meals took significant time away from the classroom, and so they had an ambiguous net effect (World Bank Group, 2018). Therefore, it is worth noting that although school feeding gets children to school, it does not always improve learning (FAO et al., 2018).