We’re ready to distribute hot meals to pupils, teachers – Gender Ministry

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The Ministry for Gender and Social Protection says it is ready to act upon President Nana Akufo-Addo’s directive for final year Junior High School students and their teachers currently in school to be served with one hot meal each day until the end of their exit exams in September 2020.

The Minister, Cynthia Morrison in a Citi News interview said the exercise will be much easier to undertake because they already have data on all pupils and teachers who are expected to benefit from the intervention.

She said the Ministry will engage caterers of the School Feeding Programme to prepare the meals.

“We have the register of the students and so we have the accurate number of students that we are going to cater for. We also have the accurate number of teachers that we are going to cater for so it makes it easier than the first time we did the food allocation…Both private and public school children writing the BECE are going to benefit and it is the same school feeding caterers who are going to cater for the pupils,” she said.

She added that teachers in the various schools are going to be integrated to ensure the success of the programme through a feedback form they will be provided with to report to the Ministry on the quality and quantity of food received each day.

“The headmasters and the teachers will be the first complainants. So we are giving them a form, every food that comes, the will give us the quantity that came and the quality also is stated.”

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President Akufo-Addo announced the directive on Sunday, August 16, 2020, while delivering his 15th national address on Ghana’s fight against COVID-19.

‘Hot meal intervention not necessary’

Meanwhile the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare believes the intervention is not necessary.

He suggests that the decision may only be a token from the president to win electoral votes especially as there has barely been any complaint of hunger from students.

“The President’s decision to provide one hot meal a day for JHS 3 students is a good token. We haven’t heard of any student complain of hunger, maybe he wants to make a Father-Christmas move. I think that we may have saved a lot of money between March when the schools closed and now from the school feeding program because no one is cooking for anyone. There should be a much better way of using that [saved] funds than cooking for everybody including those who don’t need the food,” he said.

“I think it is more of a political issue than an education issue…We are are in a campaign season so Mr. President will like to look good before parents,” he added.

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