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Caterers under School Feeding Programmme in Upper East Region still not cooking – Parents

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Parents in the Upper East Region say that some caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme in the region are still not cooking the single hot meal per day for children at the lower basic level.

When the Upper East Regional Secretary of the National Council for Parent-Teacher Associations (NCPTA) spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Wednesday, March 27, 2024, he stated that the situation is problematic.

“Most of the schools are not cooking for the kids, especially in the Upper East Region. In our last monitoring, we visited a number of schools to find out what was going on, and it seems like most of the caterers complain that the government is owing them arrears, and they can no longer provide food for the kids,” he said.

The situation is not limited to the Upper East Region. This was contained in a statement issued by the National President of NCPTA, Chris Aikins Atsu.

“Furthermore, daily reports abound in “Privileged” Primary schools covered by the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), about the worsening situation on the poor quality, quantity, nutritious and safety of food supplied by the Caterers of School feeding programmes across the country lives much to be desired. Most of these Caterers are also attributing their inability to do a better job as a result of accumulated arrears owned them by government and the skyrocketing of food and perishable items on the market vis-a-vis the non-review by government of the feeding rate per child over the years,” portions of the statement read.

Meanwhile, the National Council for Parent-Teacher Associations (NCPTA) is worried about the longstanding feeding challenges in senior high schools.

In a statement signed by the National President of the NCPTA, Christian Aikins Astu, the parents stated that revisions in the distribution of food items to schools under the policy exacerbate the feeding challenges in the schools.

The arrangement, through the buffer stock, according to the parents, is problematic.

“Furthermore, the operational challenges in relation to the emerging food crisis at some basic schools across the country under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) and the senior high/technical and vocational schools’ feeding program under the Ghana Buffer Stock Company (GBSC) across the country are due to the government’s inability to pay contractors (food suppliers) who, through the GSFP and GBSC, have been contracted to supply adequate food to feed our students at the basic and secondary educational levels, respectively.”

“This unfortunate situation has resulted in food rationing due to the shortage of food in our schools, a review of the feeding timetable in schools based on the food items available, hence compromising the quality, quantity, safety, and security of the meals provided by school administrators due to the demand and supply situation on the ground,” portions of the statement read.

The parents were even more worried that the government continues to deny the situation that exists.

“This unfortunate reality on the ground and the deliberate denial by the government and its spokesperson have compelled Joy News to carry out a fact-finding documentary on the feeding situation in our SHS dubbed ‘Empty Plates.’ The recent Free SHS National Policy Dialogue and the call for a review by the general public clearly show that all is not well for the popular Free SHS program,” the statement said.

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

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