A joint national monitoring team from the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have appealed to the various district assemblies, Parent Teachers Association (PTAs) and community leaders to play supportive roles in ensuring the smooth running of the feeding programme.
It appears the team was disappointed at how the assemblies and other local stakeholders had failed to provide simple kitchen spaces for caterers in their localities to complement the efforts of the government at feeding the over 3.4 million pupils with daily meals.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme and World Food Programme embarked on the monitoring in some selected districts in the Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo and the Bono East Regions to assess the performance of the caterers who received practical nutrition and innovation training in 2019.
In the Bono East Region in particular, the Group 4 team members led by Dina Aframa Karikari of GSFP and Gyamira Abdul Wahab from WFP, were much dissatisfied with the cooking spaces assigned to the caterers by the beneficiary school authorities and the local assemblies.
Almost all the caterers in every school visited by the team were either cooking from home and transporting to the schools at their own cost or cooking under trees and other unapproved spaces, stalling cooking activities during bad weathers.
Some of the schools visited included: the Al-Imam Islamic Primary ‘A' and ‘B', Yeji VRA Primary School, Kojo Boffour D/A Primary School all in the Pru East District; Prang M.I.T. Islamic Primary, Asubende D/A Primary School, Abease Presby Primary School in the Pru West District; Dadetoklo D/A Primary School, Kojokrom D/A Primary School and Nkatia Akuraa D/A Primary School in the Sene East District of the Bono East Region.
The only two schools that had kitchens were also in very dilapidated condition.
The Dadetoklo D/A Primary School kitchen was more than a deathtrap as the wooden structure was slanted and eaten up by termites.
The GSFP and WFP monitoring team also discovered that in almost all the schools, the pupils did not also have eateries.
The pupils from Kindergarten to upper primaries either eat in their classrooms or sit on the floors to eat.
The monitoring team therefore appealed to the assemblies, PTAs and the school authorities to support the school feeding programme with kitchens and eating spaces to enhance the implementation of the programme.
Similar monitoring exercise were simultaneously conducted by other joint teams from the Ghana School Feeding Programme and the World Food Programme in the Ashanti, Ahafo and Bono Regions.
The national monitoring tour was funded by the World Food Programme.