Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO)has started distributing food items to the various Senior High Schools(SHSs) across the country.
He said this on the back of a threat by the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) to shut down SHSs in the Northern Region if funds for perishable food items were not provided to them by the government.
According to the minister, a meeting was held with NAFCO, and the company assured that it would supply food frequently to the schools.
“We had a meeting with the buffer stock two days ago, and they assured us that food will be going to the schools. I want to emphasize that the Ministry of Education is not directly in charge of the food supply. The portion that we deal with is disbursing monies to the heads of the schools to take care of the 30% perishable items.
“The other 70% is handled by the Buffer Stock company. I had a firm assurance from them that food items would be going to every school. I checked on some heads, and they confirmed that indeed they have started receiving the food items,” Dr. Adutwum said on TV3 on Wednesday, 17 August 2022
CHASS threatens to close down schools
The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) threatened to close Senior High Schools (SHS) in the Northern Region over a lack of funds to purchase perishable food items.
They hinted in a letter addressed to the Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES) that no money has been paid for the 11 weeks of the second semester they have done so far, making smooth operations of the schools difficult.
According to the CHASS, the suppliers who give them perishables on credit have refused to do so due to the high amount of money owed them.
On this note, CHASS stated emphatically, “we wish to state that if we do not get immediate releases, the SHS 1 students of the single track schools who would be due to return to school tomorrow, Tuesday, 16 August 2022, would not report until we get money. This also includes those in transitional schools who are also billed to report on 4 September 2022”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Minister for Education, has said on the floor of parliament in July 2022 that the food crisis in the senior high schools across the country is due to the government owing Buffer Stock Company an amount of GH₵340million.
While responding to questions on the prevailing food shortage in the schools, he said the government was working to resolve the crisis.
He stated that the government had already released and paid the Buffer Stock Company an amount of GHS 327,871, 809.10 pesewas this year.
Dr. Adutwum stressed that they were working in line with the company to ensure “funding goes to them so that they can supply the food to the school.”