You are here: HomeNews2008 02 16Article 139349

General News of Saturday, 16 February 2008

Source: GNA

Irregular funding affecting School Feeding Programme

Tamale, Feb.16, GNA- Results from monitoring by the SEND Foundation indicates that the irregular funding of the School Feeding Programme was affecting the frequency of feeding in schools in some districts of the Northern Region.

Mr. Issahaku Ibrahim, Focal Person for the School for Life (SFL) an educational NGO, who disclosed this at an interface meeting organised by the SEND Foundation in collaboration with the Regional Economic Planning Unit (REPU), said the affected schools were in the Tamale Metropolis, Tolon/Kumbungu, Saboba, Bole and Gushiegu Districts. Other participants at the meeting included representatives from the Ghana Education Service, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, District Assemblies and NGOs such as Alternative Initiative

for Development and Tiyumba Development Association. The meeting provided a platform for discussion on how to develop strategies to address the lapses in the programme and consolidate its gains.

Mr. Ibrahim noted that, although the feeding programme had increased school enrolment and retention and also reduced absenteeism in schools the irregular funding of the programme had hampered its progress. He mentioned for instance, that funds for schools in Yendi and Tolon/Kumbungu Districts for the third term were disbursed in October 2007 even though the academic year started in September 2007. Mr. Ibrahim noted that funds disbursed for the feeding programme were still based on enrolment figures at the beginning of the programme and mentioned Nadundu primary in the Yendi District where funds were provided for two hundred pupils while the enrolment figure as at now was well over three hundred pupils.

He noted that another factor affecting the programme was inadequate information flow from the national level and said this had resulted in the transfer of funds without prior notice while in some cases funds were transferred into the district assembly common fund instead of the account of the school feeding programme.

He said community involvement in the programme was also very low and suggested that the communities be sensitised on the programme to know what it sought to achieve using the most effective medium. Mr. Ibrahim said although the programme had the potential of providing employment within the local economy some kitchen staff in the schools had not been paid for about eight months and as a result some schools were using part of the funds for paying allowances of the cooks.

He therefore urged district assemblies to clarify the remuneration of the kitchen staff and take steps to regularise the situation to enhance the commitment of the staff.

Join our Newsletter