The Eastern Region Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) is now considering the closure of schools in the region because of the shortage of food items.
In a statement, it said there have been food shortages for the past two years, as well as struggles with reduced weight of food items supplied.
“Suppliers of food items for some time now have been supplying underweight items to the schools. An example is 100 kg of Maize has been reduced to 50 kg or 60 kg,” the group noted in a statement.
It also complained about arrears in schools because of the erratic release of funds meant for perishable foods.
“Since 2021, funds meant for recurrent [expenses], have been released once. By extension, recurrent funds are in arrears since 2021 and 6 months into 2022,” the group explained.
Because of these challenges, the group is considering the closure of schools if nothing changes by July 15.
It is also considering recommendations that parents “either feed their wards or pick them home until all the situations are normalised.”
The Education Ministry gave assurances that by July 12, the challenges would have been addressed.
The Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, met with the leadership of CHASS this past Sunday.
But schools are still complaining about the shortages despite the commitment made by the government.
Because of these challenges, an adhoc committee is currently in place at Parliament to probe the activities of the National Food Buffer Stock Company and the National School Feeding programme.
The mandate of the committees among others is to look into the feasibility and sustainability of the organisations, especially in recent times when there are reports of food shortage in Senior High Schools and the demand from school feeding caterers for an increment in the cost of feeding students.
Find below the full statement