The project, which started in April, was in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Ghana Education Service and the Gender Ministry to enable the pupils to have access to free quality healthcare as their fundamental human right.
Nana Oye Lithur visited the St Mary’s Anglican School where 800 pupils are expected to be registered and the Mantse Tackie Primary School which is to register 500 pupils.
Addressing the media, she said government intended to register all 1.7 million pupils under the School Feeding Programme and that so far 1.33 million pupils had been registered and issued with the cards.
Nana Oye Lithur said this was to ensure a holistic and all-inclusive social protection service to enable the children to have access to basic healthcare at all times.
She said the School Feeding Programme sought to provide school children with healthy meals as well as boost the domestic food production, increase small holder farmer’s income and create employment by absorbing about 20,000 caterers and cooks nationwide.
She said currently 1,728,681 schools in the 261 districts were to benefit from the programme adding that with the new system in place government would save GH¢24 million every term.
Nana Oye Lithur said government had also cleared all caterers’ arrears and that “all these are to ensure reduction in food insecurity and enhance learning of the students”.
She said education was critical in sustainable development hence the Government’s social intervention in education such as provision of free school uniforms and exercise books to increase enrolment in schools at the basic level.
Nana Oye Lithur, therefore, urged the students to put in their best and strive for excellence in all they do.
She advised them to keep their cards well to enable them to receive free healthcare when they visited the hospitals.
Mr Patrick Acheampong, the National Co-ordinator of the School Feeding Programme, expressed gratitude to government for settling all caterers’ arrears saying we would be going round to monitor the caterers to ensure they cooked quality food for the children.
He said though the programme had been successful it was confronted with logistics and monitoring challenges and called on the Government to help in those areas.
Mrs Vida Badza, the Headmistress of St Mary’s Anglican School, expressed gratitude to the Minister for visiting the school and appealed to her to provide them with a school bus and furniture to allow for more enrolment.
By Samira Larbie/Jessica Addo, GNA