GH¢3bn needed to sustain school feeding programme – EduWatch Africa
Education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has said a 200 percent increase in the cost of the school feeding programme is required for the provision of quality food to beneficiaries.
This according to the think tank is the response to the ongoing demand for an increase in the cost of feeding and the payment of arrears owed caterers under the initiative.
The percentage increase will close the GH¢3 billion gap with the intervention to improve the quality of food provided to students.
Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, told Citi News that the government must adopt the automatic adjustment formula of financing the policy to keep it from collapsing.
“What the caterers need is not a 10 percent adjustment in the unit cost of feeding. It wouldn’t do anything. At least a 200 percent increase in the feeding budget is GH¢3 billion and that is required to provide decent food for children in basic schools to be consistent with what government is paying for in providing lunch at the SHS level.”
Some caterers under the government’s school feeding programme have withdrawn their services after school resumed on Tuesday, April 4.
The decision to withdraw their services comes after the caterers threatened to lay down their tools following the government’s failure to pay arrears owed them.
The caterers who are also demanding an increment in the amount government pays per child daily from GHp 97 to GH¢3 say the current amount is unsustainable because of the current state of the economy and its accompanying high cost of food commodities.
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In some public basic schools, Citi News visited within Kumasi, headteachers confirmed that they are not expecting to receive food for the pupils under the government’s school feeding program on Tuesday as the caterers have informed them that they are not cooking.
“The Minster of Finance must review the framework and ensure that expenditure allocation and projection for the Ghana school feeding program is consistent with the exigencies of the time in terms of the nutritional needs of the students, inflationary trends”, Kofi Asare added.