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Free SHS Woes: Most schools may close down on Friday if … – Parliamentary Committee on Education

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The Ranking Member on the Education Select Committee in Parliament and MP for Akatsi North, Peter Nortsu has warned that if stringent measures are not taken by the government to stock the pantries of the various senior high schools dotted across the country, many of them would have to shut down. This is because the schools’ management would be unable to feed the students any longer.

Recently, a1radionline.com reported that parents of students in some schools in the Upper West Region would be forced to find alternative ways of feedings their wards while they remain in school. The affected schools say that due to food shortages, they cannot continue to feed the students.

This was contained in a letter signed by the Upper West Regional CHASS Chairman and sighted by a1radioonline.com.

“At a meeting of the Upper West Regional CHASS on the 6th July, 2022 at Queen of Peace Senior High School, the Food and Money Situation in the schools was thoroughly discussed. It came out that the Food suppliers contracted by Buffer Stock Company and those local suppliers contacted to help out are all refusing to supply due to non-payment of outstanding monies owed for food supplied to the schools. This has led to serious food shortages in all the schools in the region. In fact, an assessment of the situation indicated that most schools cannot go beyond one week if nothing urgent is done about it.”

“Also the way that money is trickling into the schools is making it very difficult to run the schools. In view of these challenges, it was resolved that: All Schools will feed students with only whatever is available in the school food stores and students will be asked to bring their own sugar and other items to the dining hall.”

Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, Mr. Nortsu cautioned that the situation could be worse if the government’s intervention is not swift.

“The whole of last week, we were calling on them [government] to make sure that schools were supplied with food items. If nothing is done this week, I can bet you that the schools would have to close down or students would have to provide their own food. If that happens, it is going to disrupt the academic calendar.”

“The WASSCE examination is around the corner and very soon, the students would be busy and so how can they study or take the exam on an empty stomach? The situation is very critical,” he said.

Mr. Nortsu explained that it is unfortunate that the government has become noted for refusing to listen to the truth about what is prevailing in the country.

“The Minister and his communication team were saying that there is no food shortage but it is the reality on the ground,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry says government is ready to supply some 10,000 bags of sugar and 60,000 bags of rice to schools across the country.

The Public Relations Officer for the Education Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng in an interview on News Night said the supplies would be made to schools in the Greater Accra Region, Ashanti Region and the Upper West Region.

He said the Ministry has already dispatched trucks to deliver these supplies to various schools.

“The good news is that as of now the Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum has intervened. As I speak to you packs of food items about 10,000 bags of sugar and 60,000 bags of rice are scheduled to be distributed to various schools across the country.

“You are looking at the Ashanti Region, about three schools there, the Greater Accra Region and largely Upper West Region,” he told Emefa Apawu on Tuesday.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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