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Quality of food affected – CHASS contradicts Ministry of Education over Joy News report

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The Ministry of Education has expressed strong sentiments against a documentary by Joy News about the quality, quantity, and frequency of feeding at various senior high schools under the government’s Free SHS program.

In a response signed by the Spokesperson of the Education Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng, he explained that the narrative painted by Joy News was inaccurate.

“The Ministry of Education, in response to a recent documentary by JoyNews highlighting concerns about poor feeding and irregular food supply in Senior High Schools, embarked on a comprehensive nationwide visitation and monitoring exercise in collaboration with the media. The objective was to gain a fair understanding of the issues raised and address them appropriately if found to be valid.”

“Contrary to the narrative portrayed in the documentary mentioned above, our visitation revealed the following key findings: Schools visited and reports from other schools indicated the maintenance of an adequate stock of food in their storage facilities. There is prompt and up-to-date payment of funds allocated for the purchase of perishable food items to all schools. Feedback from heads of schools and students indicates overall satisfaction with the quality and quantity of food being served,” portions of the statement read.

The situation may not be as the Ministry has indicated, either. When the Upper East Regional Branch President for the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Richard Akumbasi, spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, he mentioned that the quality of feeding has been compromised because of the absence of key food materials.

“We have some food items, and we don’t have others. I can say that we have rice, maize, beans, a few bags of soya beans, millet, and vegetable oil in enough quantity. But you see, we are supposed to have some 18 food items. Because of the absence, the feeding may be one way. The problem is some of the items are not there. We don’t have gari. We do not have sugar. We don’t have bread flour, milk, groundnuts, and others. These are in critical need.”

“There is no school [in the Upper East Region] that will say that they do not have food to feed, but the feeding is one way. Very critical is the sugar, but we don’t have that, and for every breakfast, we need sugar. Because there is no bread flour, it means that the student would take breakfast without bread. But I will say it is better than before,” he said.

About disbursement of funds for perishables, Mr. Akumbasi said while there have been some releases for this year, there are still arrears owed for 2023.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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