HomeNewsEducationThere’s adequate supply of food – Education Ministry

There’s adequate supply of food – Education Ministry

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The Public Relations Officer of the Education Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng, has responded to concerns regarding food supply and quality in some secondary schools.

The Ministry’s spokesperson, Kwasi Kwarteng assured parents that there is sufficient food available for students, urged them to remain calm, and emphasised the ministry’s commitment to delivering high-quality meals to students.

This comes on the back of JoyNews investigations which confirmed an acute shortage of food items in many Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country, resulting in poor quality meals served the students.

Speaking on JoyNews on March 4, 2024, the P.R.O., stated that both school matrons and headmasters are dedicated to ensuring the preparation of nutritious food and would not endorse any low-quality meals.

Mr. Kwarteng called for collaboration with the media to provide oversight and accountability in monitoring food standards in secondary schools.

“We see the media as people we work with, and so at every point when you bring feedback and we also impress upon you to get a particular list of schools affected, it is not in a way to suggest the work of the media; maybe we are throwing a question or questioning the credibility of your work. We are only saying, whatever you have within your sleeve, get us the list of those.” 

 Mr. Kwarteng admitted that he does not have comprehensive knowledge of all events in every secondary school.

He mentioned that the Ministry’s feeding programme is not fully mechanized, relying on human intervention, which occasionally presents challenges.

However, the P.R.O. assured that the Ministry intervened promptly to address any issues that arose. 

“We are getting to know that the main point is not even a shortage of food. Sis right now on nutrition, quality, and inadequacy.”

Background

JoyNews sources have confirmed an acute shortage of food items in many Senior High Schools (SHS) across the country.

For months, parents, teachers, and stakeholders have raised concerns about the alleged shortcomings of the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, specifically regarding the provision of three daily hot meals to SHS students free of charge.

After over seven years of policy implementation, President Akufo-Addo during the 2024 State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Tuesday, February 27, emphasised the transformative impact of the Free SHS policy.

He called for an end to arguments against the policy, stating that its success should be acknowledged, and efforts should focus on improving it.

“Mr Speaker, Free SHS might be labelled by its detractors as a mere political slogan that must be demonised, but it is, in fact, a transformative programme that has broken myths and liberated minds.

“I am proud that the NPP government, under my leadership, has been able to bring this transformative policy into our education system. Mr Speaker, I believe the success of the Free SHS has answered its critics and the arguments about it should cease, and we should simply concentrate on finding ways to improve it.”

However, fresh details uncovered by JoyNews suggest serious defects that could undermine the effective implementation of the Free SHS policy.

The investigative documentary, “Empty Plates,” produced by investigative journalist Kwetey Nartey, presents evidence of an acute shortage of food items in many senior high schools nationwide.

JoyNews’ Channel Manager, Kwaku Owusu Peprah, explained that the decision to commission an independent inquiry into the quantity of food served to the students and create the documentary was driven by public interest journalism.

He said that the Joy Newsroom had received complaints from parents and individuals about the quantity of food available to students.

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