General News of Monday, 11 July 2022
Senior High Schools hit by food shortages will receive supplies by Tuesday (July 12), authorities have announced.
That’s according to the Education Ministry as it races against time to avert an imminent closure of second-cycle schools whose students have been affected by an ongoing strike by members of four teacher unions across the country.
Authorities have also confirmed that the Sector Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, and the leadership of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Schools (CHASS) have held talks to address the challenge.
“The Minister of Education has just concluded a meeting with the leadership of CHASS on the issue of challenges in the food supply of food to some Senior High Schools. The issue has been resolved and all affected schools are expected to receive full supplies latest by Tuesday 12th July 2022”, a statement signed by a spokesperson at the Ministry, Kwasi Kwarteng read.
Senior High Schools in the Upper West and Ashanti Regions had warned of an imminent closure if authorities failed to supply them with adequate foodstuff to feed students.
In a letter widely shared online the Conference of Heads of Assisted Schools (CHASS) in the Upper West Region said there are food shortages in all schools in the region, which have been caused by local suppliers’ refusal to supply food to various schools.
“It came out that the food suppliers contracted by Buffer Stock Company and those local suppliers contacted to help out are all refusing to supply due to non-payment of outstanding monies owed for food supplied to the schools. This has led to serious food shortages in all the schools in the region. In fact, an assessment of the situation indicated that most schools cannot go beyond one week if nothing urgent is done about it”, the letter read in part.
The situation, according to CHASS, has compelled heads of schools to feed students with whatever is available in the school food stores, while students bring their own sugar to the dining hall.
Situation in Ashanti
The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), Rev. Fr Stephen Owusu Sekyere, confirmed that most schools in the region were facing an inadequate supply of food items, with the major challenge being vegetables, palm oil, sugar, and flour reports the Daily Graphic.
Rev. Fr Sekyere, who is also the Headmaster of the Opoku Ware School (OWASS), said at times “students come to the dining hall with their own sugar. But we have been managing with the little we have and when it gets finished, we wait for the supplier”.
“Because I don’t want the students to demonstrate during my tenure, at times I have to dig into my pocket to buy some of the items from the open market just to ensure that the students are okay,” he told the state-owned agency.
The Ashanti Regional Students’ Representative Council (ARSRC) which was next to join the call said the situation, if not remedied, could affect the health of the students in the affected schools.
Ashanti Regional SRC Coordinator, Raphael Sarkodie further warned that the delays and inconsistent food supplies, could affect students’ performance as the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), nears.