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General News of Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Our Nutrition Department monitors food quality – School Feeding PRO

Despite reports highlighting poor quality of meals being served Senior High School students under the free SHS programme, the School Feeding Programme is insisting its Nutrition Department collaborates with caterers under the programme to prepare nutritious meals for pupils.

Concerns have been raised about the quality of meals being served over one million and seven thousand pupils who are entitled to one hot meal per day under the programme.

The Public Relations Officer for the Secretariat, Alba Siba, however insisted on the Citi Breakfast Show that caterers under the programme are constantly monitored to ensure they strictly adhere to laid down procedures in preparing these meals.

Mr. Siba also indicated that, caterers are intermittently trained to deliver quality meals.

“As I even indicated, we have given them some brief orientation because these are new caterers who have taken over. It is an ongoing activity, and as and when we think there is the need for them to get orientation, then we give them. And besides that too, we have a nutrition department at the school feeding programme that collaborates with other nutrition departments in the various districts so they together do the menu according to what the District potential is in terms of food items. We do all these things to ensure that the caterer is constantly monitored because we know that for some of the caterers if we do not monitor them, they can cut corners.”

Meanwhile, a coalition responsible for monitoring basic education across the country, Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition, says it has drawn the attention of the Education Ministry to some daunting challenges confronting the implementation of the free SHS policy.

Citi News‘ assessment of the policy on Thursday, revealed that some students at the La Presec were studying on concrete blocks.

Students at the Kwabenya Senior High School were also served meals without protein.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Coordinator of the Coalition, Veronica Dzeago, said although her outfit is yet to begin any formal monitoring, reports indicate that adequate preparation has not been made.

“As a Coalition, we have not started any monitoring, but we have received reports from sources on the ground and the report concerning the issue we raised about the system not being prepared enough to deal with the enrollment that was going to come with the roll-out of the free SHS policy, so what you saw is a confirmation of what is really happening on the ground.”

“We have also received reports from various parts of the country that there are challenges. The discussions have been ongoing and we have had the opportunity to speak to the key people from the Ministry of Education and we have put the issues before them, and we have been given the assurance that plans are in place to address the issues we identified.”