Regional News of 2014-05-29

Caterers urged to provide quality meals to pupils

Technical Advisor of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Kwame Nuako, has cautioned caterers of the programme in the Northern Region not to compromise on the quality and quantity of food they serve to pupils.

He has also assured them that their monies were being processed and disbursement will start soon.

He made the call in an interaction with pupils and caterers of Saediya English-Arabic Primary school in the East Mamprusi district of the Northern Region, during a monitoring tour of Impact Evaluation schools under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).

He commended the partnership between government and Partnership for Child Development (PCD) to provide technical support to the government of Ghana to implement a number of interventions in the school feeding programme such as fortification of meals with micro-nutrient powders, the promotion of good health and hygiene, the use of a ration design tool to prepare menus with quantities and the promotion of healthy eating habits through behaviour change communication strategies.

He indicated the monitoring exercise was necessary to ensure that all stakeholders in the school feeding chain were complying with existing procedures and regulations.

Mr. Nuako appealed to head teachers to collaborate with the district assemblies to support them in the building of proper kitchen structures.

In his welcome address, the Nutrition Programme Officer of the Partnership for Child Development (PCD), Fred Amese admonished school children to use their pocket money to buy fruits as snacks instead of candies and biscuits.

He explained his outfit was partnering government to implement successfully the social intervention aimed at providing one hot nutritious meal a day for pupils to improve their nutritional status as well as increase and retain school enrolment.

Mr. Amese was optimistic the intervention will help to evaluate the impact of Home Grown School Feeding programmes to increase access, retention, learning and cognition of pupils as well as improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

He said caterers, cooks, head-teachers, district nutrition officers and district desk officers have all been trained to successfully execute the interventions.

He disclosed 13 beneficiary districts in the region will be covered and a total of 58 impact evaluation districts are expected to be monitored and appealed to donors to partner his outfit to promote efficient and effective education in the country.

The team observed that most of the schools visited did not have proper kitchen facilities, cooks did not follow their menu whilst others had no menus to follow and delay in payment of caterers.

The team consisted of the technical advisor to GSFP Kwame Nuako, the GSFP logistics officer Alhassan Adams, a Northern regional monitor of GSFP Haruna Ibrahim and the Nutrition Programme officer of PCD Fred Amese.

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