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General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

If Gh¢1.80 is insufficient, try Free SHS - Minister to school heads

Education Minister Lee Ocran is mocking head teachers who say the feeding fee being charged is insufficient and could affect the quality of food given to students.

He said "if Gh¢1.80 is insufficient and could lead to poor quality of food to students, then what will the quality be like if it is free as the NPP is proposing under its free SHS policy?"

The Minister gave a directive for the school heads to desist from charging Gh¢2.50 as feeding fee and revert to the Gh¢1.80.

But the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) say the Gh¢1.80 is woefully inadequate and could lead to poor quality of food.

In an interview with Joy News’ Evans Mensah, the Education Minister traded a subtle laughter when his attention was drawn to the concerns of the head teachers.

“I see, that is very interesting,” he said, laughing, “You know some people don’t want to pay at all. This one, they are paying and the headmasters are complaining that what they are paying will affect the quality of meal. If it were free, what will the quality be like?” he asked.

The Minister said it is time for heads of second cycle institutions to speak up against the NPP free SHS promise if they think the quality of education will be compromised.

“This is the time for them to talk. There is no reason coming to my office to talk,” he charged.

Asked if he was referring to the NPP’s free SHS policy the minister said: “Yes. That is what is happening. People are paying and yet they are complaining about the quality of meals. What happens if you don’t pay at all? Because after all we are paying subsidies to supplement what they are paying."

The Minister objected to assertions that he is politicizing the feeding fee policy.

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