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General News of Monday, 24 August 2020


Chief of Staff, Gender Minister inspect hot meal for JHS students

Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare and Gender Minister Cynthia Mamle Morrison addressing students play videoChief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare and Gender Minister Cynthia Mamle Morrison addressing students

Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, together with the Gender Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, on Monday, August 24, 2020 embarked on a tour to monitor the effectiveness of newly rolled out free hot meal initiative for JHS students.

This forms part of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s plan to alleviate hunger among final year JHS students who are preparing to write this year’s BECE.

The president, in his 15th address to the nation of measures intervention measures against the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, noted with concern that his government had received complaints of hunger and starvation of JHS students due to the ban of food vendors in schools.

To address this, he directed the Gender Minister to take charge and oversee the delivery of hot meals to schools across the country.

“As a result of reports I have received that some final year JHS students are going hungry in complying with COVID-19 protocols, I have just instructed the Minister for Gender and Social Protection to begin preparation to ensure that as from 24th August up to 18th of September, all 584,000 final year JHS students and 146,000 staff both in public and private schools be given one hot meal a day. This is to ensure full observation to COVID-19 safety protocols,” the president told Ghanaians.

In this regard, the Gender Minister during a tour of some selected schools in Accra – Morning Star School and Kanda Cluster of Schools - on the first day of roll out of the plan said her office has indeed taken charge and delivered meals to over 17,000 schools across the country.

Speaking to the media during the tour, she indicated the Ministry’s readiness to follow through with the monitoring process till the very end. She said with the help of the Chief of Staff, all challenges that are identified in due course will be addressed.

She remarked, “Today is our first day for our free meals for our BECE students, an egg a day program that we’re running across the length and breadth of this country…Today is piloting and I’m here with the Chief of Staff, we’ve done the monitoring and we’ve seen that everything is going on well. In fact, I’ve coordinated with almost all the regions…we have two few exceptions where they’re telling us that the teaching staff is more than the number required…we’ll go back to them and rectify it.”

The minister noted, however, that the menu for students has been slightly altered to give more room for those with special needs. Students in the two schools visited were given one pack of jollof rice with egg and gizzard.

On her part, the Chief of Staff, Frema Osei Opare, said this initiative will help put students in the “good frame of mind to study.”

She urged students not to replicate the unruly behaviour depicted by their senior colleagues in the senior high schools over the past weeks.