The National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, has paid an unannounced visit to some public basic schools in the Greater Accra Region to assess the performance of caterers.
Accompanied by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinator of GSFP, Ms Christiana Nkansah, and some staff from the National Secretariat, Mrs Quashigah interacted with headteachers, caterers, teachers and pupils in the schools last Wednesday.
Some of the schools visited included Nungua Presby Primary “A”; Nungua LEKMA “5 & 6” Basic Schools; St Peter’s Anglican “A & B” Primary and Kindergarten; and Krowor Central Kindergarten.
In a brief interaction with journalists after the tour, the national coordinator expressed satisfaction with the food prepared by the caterers in the schools visited.
The national coordinator also joined some of the pupils in their classrooms to have a frank conversation with them in a bid to find out the genuine assessment of the school meal and the general performance of the caterers.
She revealed that her outfit had lined up a number of activities nationwide to empower the caterers to up their game.
Mrs Quashigah noted that the secretariat would continue to train the caterers and cooks to ensure that food served to the pupils were healthy and nutritious.
She encouraged the caterers to strictly abide by the GSFP Handy Measures in order to ensure that the children were served with the right quality and quantity of meal.
“Caterers who fail to go by our handy measures and are feeding the children with poor quality meal will be sanctioned,” she cautioned.
Mrs Quashigah appealed to assemblies and communities to support the programme by building kitchens for beneficiary schools.
The caterers, however, raised concern about the feeding grant which currently stands at GH¢1.00 per child.
Responding, the national coordinator assured the caterers of the government’s commitment to increase the grant.
Some of the school heads, who spoke to the media, including Ms Emefa Amoo, the headmistress of St. Peters Anglican A&B Primary, and Mr Angelis Dzakpasu, the headmaster of Nungua LEKMA “6” Basic School.
They expressed concern about the quantity of food being served to the pupils.
Ms Amoo also noted that her school was set to introduce“Fruits Day” where the children would be provided with fruits at regular intervals.
This was applauded by the GSFP national coordinator who prayed for its early implementation.
The school heads were also taken through a newly developed COVID-19 chart, supported by UNICEF to guide caterers, teachers and pupils in observing the protocols.
UNICEF has also engaged a consultant who is to assist GSFP to develop its national and district operation manuals.