Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, on Wednesday, handed over 800 weighing scales to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to be distributed to Senior High Schools (SHS) nationwide under the Government’s Free SHS programme to address issues of imbalance.
This follows complaints from some schools over receiving less supplies than what is charged for payment by the providers.
The measure was, therefore, undertaken in collaboration with the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) to ensure fairness.
There are 722 schools, while each scale costs about $800.
Dr. Prempeh said it was unfortunate that the procurement of scales for the schools delayed for three years.
“If something could collapse the free SHS Policy,” the Minister said, “it would have been the feeding of the students.”
“When the schools were complaining of the quantity of food supplies they were receiving, we thought that why don’t we get them scales that have been standardised by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to weigh all the supplies to ensure that the quantity is accurate,” he said.
It was, therefore, necessary, he said, to take appropriate measures to efficiently execute food supply activities to satisfy the schools.
He thanked the NAFCO for working hard to enable government to realise the vision, adding that, government was prepared to collaborate with them to supply schools with quality foods.
Mr Hanan Abdul-Wahab, NAFCO Chief Executive Officer, said each scale was valued at more than $800.00.
The Food Safety Department of the NAFCO, he said, would join forces with the GSA to supervise the proper maintenance of the scales.
Professor Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, GES Director-General, cautioned schools and suppliers against the misuse of the scales, saying that: “We will keep an eye on them to ensure that they are put to good use.”
The scales would make it easier for the GES to facilitate the payment of suppliers of the food items, he said, and advised heads of schools to always ensure that suppliers delivered the right quantities of food items.