Stakeholders want Gov’t to increase School Feeding money to GHC2.00

Date: Tuesday November 27, 2018, 12:05 pm

Stakeholders want GSFP grant increased
Stakeholders at a two day capacity building workshop at Koforidua in the Eastern Region have called on Government to increase the feeding grant for pupils under the Ghana School Feeding Programme from One Ghana Cedis (GHC1.00) to Two Ghana Cedis (GHC2.00) daily. 

This according to them, would ensure quality in the meal being served to the beneficiary pupils. There have been several concerns about the quality standards of meal being served to the pupils by caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme. 

The nutritional level, quality and quantity of the meal have been questioned over the years by many stakeholders, but the blame has always been linked to the low amount of money budgeted for caterers per every child. 

It is against this backdrop that the School Health and Education Programme Coordinators, District Nutrition Officers, District Desk Officers, District Agric Officers and Ghana Education Service officials in the Eastern Region are calling for a hundred percent adjustment in the amount. 

Government increased the Ghana School Feeding grant from GHC0.80 (80 pesewas) to GHC1.00 in January 2018. 

Mr. Isaac K. Okyere, Director of Education for Birem North District of Eastern Region argued that, the prevailing economic condition and cost of food items on the market required immediate increase in the grant so that the children can enjoy quality food from the caterers.

According to him, the caterers mathematically are not cooking with the whole GHC1.00 but rather GHC.97 (97 pesewas) due to the GHC0.03 withholding tax on the amount. 

Mr. Okyere also appealed to the caterers to make do with the GHC1.00 till government announces a new increment so that the children are not affected. 

Mrs. Doris Gaba, Director of Operations-GSFP
The National Operations Director of the GSFP, Mrs. Doris Gaba in a response indicated that the School feeding secretariat is already in talks with the Government to consider increasing the amount from the current GHC1.00 to GHC1.50 to cushion the caterers a little more to enable them meet the expected quality nutritious meal for the pupils. “The GSFP through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has already sent proposals for the feeding grant to be increased from GHC1 to GHC1.5 and we are hoping for good and immediate response,” Mrs. Gaba said. She said the Government is very passionate about the School Feeding Programme as it aims at reducing hunger and malnutrition, increasing school enrolment, attendance and retention as well as boosting domestic food production. Mrs. Gaba indicated that the GSFP is also contributing to poverty reduction among local farmers since over 70% of the food supplied to caterers are produced locally. She said that the programme has also created employment for many Ghanaians including over 9,700 caterers, 19,400 cooks and several other indirect jobs. She said that 72% of the 116 staff of the GSFP across the country are women including 10 female Regional Coordinators, 62 female Zonal Coordinators and all the 9,700 caterers nationwide are also females, “which demonstrates the government’s commitment to economic empowerment of women”. Currently, the GSFP caters for 2,848,580 (2.8 million) pupils from 9,495 deprived schools in 254 districts nationwide representing 62% coverage. The National Operations Director noted that the Government has effected payment of caterers for the 2017/2018 academic year to the tune of GHC358,330,705.00 made of first term GHC88,000,000.00, second term GHC141,310,000.00 and third term GHC129,020,705.00. Mrs. Gaba was optimistic that with the ongoing training of trainers to train caterers and cooks, the GSFP would yield the desired results.

Source: www.watchghana.com

Author: WatchGhana.Com    Verified


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