The former president of the Ghana School Feeding Caterers Association, Faustina Amevor has lamented over the inadequacy of funds for the feeding of school children, standing at 1 cedi per child.
This comes in response to questions being raised over government’s competence to sustain and improve the School Feeding Programme policy.
Speaking in an interview on Joy Prime TV, Mrs Amevor, Former Head of the association from 2016 to 2018, stated that the government’s initiative to accommodate increasing number of students is unfair, when nothing has been done to sustain and improve the feeding programme with the current worsening state of inflation.
According to her, the comparison of funds from her tenure to present is very poor and unfair, stating that the payments process in her time was much more conducive.
I wouldn’t say it was on time, but it is better than now, according to what my friends [called to tell me]. That time when we were receiving payment, I think it came to 80 pesewas; it wasn’t up to one cedi.
So, since 2018, it was only 20 pesewas that was added, is it fair? Look at the inflation in this country. The measures that were in place in those days, it’s not about increasing the schools, it’s about seeing to it that the policies and the directives are initiated, so that it will sustain the School Feeding Programme.
She noted that the nutrition of the children is a top priority and cannot be fulfilled if the government does not increase funds amidst the inflation.
She further revealed that some caterers are not even paid adequately, and there is insufficient food supplies with most of the available ones being imported.
Some schools go days without food. First of all, we have to see that the children from Ghana are fed well. How much is the price of one egg right now in Ghana? So if you are paying a caterer one cedi per child, how can she provide the quality and good quantity [of food] to a child if the price of one egg is two cedis? Think about this!
The caterers are really suffering. Most of the [food] items that we use are imported into this country. So if we cannot even provide one egg per child, maybe even once a week, what are we doing? Why do you want to increase the schools?
Over the past few months, a lot of schools in Ghana, especially senior secondary schools, have faced issues concerning feeding, especially with inadequate food supplies in the system. This almost resulted in closure of some schools in the Eastern Region at a point in time.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, however stated during the reading of the 2023 budget and Economic Policy that “government has no plans of abandoning the programme but rather has initiated strategies to sustain the flagship programme.”
He also noted that there will be an appreciable increase in number of students and also proper arrangements towards the development.
Story by: Deborah Yakohene & Fafa Melody |univers.ug.edu.gh