We need to overhaul the school feeding program – MP

School Feeding.jpeg School children line up for school feeding meals

Sat, 4 Feb 2023 Source: www.etvghana.com

Ranking member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, has called for a thorough examination and change thereof in the country’s school feeding program.

According to him, the overhaul will inform the sector ministry’s decision on the policy.

The Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) which started in 2005 is an initiative of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) Pillar 3 which seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger, poverty and malnutrition.

The Immediate objectives of the Programme are to contribute to an increase school enrolment, attendance and retention, reduce short-term hunger and malnutrition amongst kindergarten and primary school children and to boost domestic food production.

All public primary schools and kindergartens in Ghana Local farmers form part of the programs primary targets and over the period, the initiative currently feeds 1.69M children, 37.4 % of National coverage, however the quality of food provided students is in question as the government spends Ghc1.20 to spend each child, an amount insufficient to provide a healthy meal for students.

Sharing his concerns about the programme in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Don Kwabena Prah on the ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ political talk show, he said, “We need to reevaluate the school feeding programme and assess its value and manageability. We need to review it and make it better. Caterers receive a paltry sum of Ghc1.20 to feed each child and that’s not enough to provide a healthy and balanced diet for the children.”

The parliamentarian described soup served to school children under the program as equal to water, bland and it breaks his heart to see this.

He bemoaned the abuse in the system stalling the success of the program. “Some of the schools enrolled under the program do not even exist. There are some schools which are not under the program but they receive payments to run non-existent school feeding programs. Some of the schools also do not feed students for the 5-week days when they have been given the funds to do so.”

Mr. Nortsu-Kotoe insists there are some irregularities within the School Feeding Secretariat itself and argues it needs to be probed and changes effected.

Source: www.etvghana.com
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