Headteacher appeals for extension of school feeding programme to JHSs

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School Feeding
School Feeding

The Headteacher of Aburi-Amanfo D/A Junior High School (JHS), Mr Seth Akwagyiram, has appealed to the government to extend the School Feeding Programme covering only primary schools to the Junior High Schools.

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) was initiated in 2005 as a social protection intervention under the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme, Pillar 3, in response to the first and second Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The programme seeks to, most especially, improve enrollment and attendance, increase cognitive and academic performance and contribute to gender equity in access to education of children and adolescents.

However, Mr Akwagyiram told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on International Children’s Day that the GSFP be expanded to cover junior high schools to improve enrolment and help keep children during contact hours.

The United Nations (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.

The 2021 theme is, “A Better Future for Every Child,” which is being observed in accordance with the global coronavirus pandemic affected the rights of every child.

Mr Akwagyiram said the school has never recorded a full class attendance because most students complained that their parents did not give them money for school.

He noted that the situation compelled some teachers in the school to bear the responsibility of providing such students with money for food.

The inability of parents to provide students with pocket money for food during school hours led to an increase in illicit behaviours among students, he noted.
“The students engage in theft and other activities just to get money for feeding in school,” he added.

Mr Haruna Mustapha Appiah, Akuapem South Municipal Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Secretary of the Akuapem South Municipal Education Oversight Committee (MOEC), said “GES is not responsible for GSFP.”

Nevertheless, he said, MOEC discussed issues pertaining to the delivery of quality education and that an opening had not been made to roll in new schools onto the school feeding programme.

Mr Appiah said schools in the municipality would be added to the programme when there was an avenue to do so to ensure all children of school-going benefited from the national feeding programme.

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