Three weeks after schools resumed, caterers under the School Feeding Program have refused to cook for pupils.
This comes after the caterers announced their decision to withdraw their services following the government’s failure to pay them their arrears.
The caterers are also demanding that the amount per student be increased from 97 pesewas to GH¢3.
During Citi News’ visit to some schools in Kumasi, the heads of the schools stated that although it has not had any significant impact on the attendance of students, parents have been complaining about the financial burden it has brought on them.
Headmistress of the T. I. Ahmadiyya Primary B, Ernestina Annim said the government has not paid caterers three weeks after schools reopened and pleaded that the debts of the caterers be cleared, so cooking can resume.
“Three weeks after schools reopened, caterers had not been cooking and parents have been calling us to ask when will we start feeding them. We have engaged the caterers, and they told us that they have not been paid for two terms, so they cannot continue to go to their creditors to be borrowing foodstuff.”
An anonymous parent also narrated the impact the lack of cooking is having on their wards and pleaded with the government to expedite the payment of caterers.
“The School Feeding Programme has been very good and successful until recently when the caterers informed us that they had challenges with the release of funds to them to prepare food for the students, so they have stopped cooking for the students. There are some parents who are unable to feed their children when they come to school and for that matter, some of the children sometimes don’t come to school at all.”
“The government must do well to release funds to the caterers, so they can continue to cook for the students so that the system will still be effective,” the parent added.