Some concerned parents of the State Experimental M/A Basic School in Kumasi, have expressed concern over an attempt by the school authorities to prevent the introduction of the government school feeding programme in the school.
They have resolved to petition the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to probe the issue.
Additionally, they would use every legal means to stop the school authorities from blocking the government initiative to relieve them of some of their financial burdens.
Mr Jacob Akombilla, spokesperson for the group told the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi that the parents were determined to go all out to ensure the introduction of the programme and stop the compulsory payment of canteen fees in the school.
“We are petitioning the Ministry of Education to probe this issue since parents are being forced by the authorities to pay canteen fees for their wards”, Mr. Akombilla, stated.
He said the compulsory payment of canteen fees had over the years, been a source of financial burden on parents in their quest to meet the educational needs of their children and the selection of the school to participate in the government school feeding programme therefore, came as a big relief to both the children and parents.
Mr Akombilla indicated that the parents were baffled at the way the school authorities were trying to prevent the introduction of the programme and rather, wanted to compel them to continue to pay for the canteen fees.
“We find this to be unlawful and we have resolved not to give in to the pressure from the authorities”, he said, adding that anything otherwise would receive resistance by the parents.
When contacted, Headmistress of the school, Mrs. Georgina Biney, denied that they were against the introduction of the school feeding programme. “Officially, the School Feeding Programme Secretariat has made it known to the authorities of their intention to add our school to educational institutions benefiting from the programme, and we have no objection to that”, she stressed.
On the payment of the canteen fees, Mrs. Biney admitted that since 1960 when the school was established, it had been its policy for parents to pay for canteen fees for their wards.
This, she said, formed a component of their school fees and that parents were already aware of this policy.
Mr. Mark Ofori, Ashanti Regional Public Relations Officer of the GES, reacting to the issue, said the GES had taken the issue up and were investigating for the right thing to be done.