The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has withdrawn the contract of a caterer under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) after complaints that she failed to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols.
The sector minister, Cynthia Morrison, revealed this in an interview with Nana Yaa Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday as schools reopened for second-year students of junior high schools and senior high schools across the country.
‘‘We terminated the contract of one person because she was not adhering to COVID-19 protocols,’’ she said.
The Gender Minister said the ministry is poised to ensure the programme is not compromised by such contractors.
“We have our monitoring team going round, because the money [for school feeding] is not political: the money is coming from the coffers of the state …
“And, going forward, we are monitoring. We have our monitoring team going round and we are looking at the quantity, the quality and everything.
“We look at the headmasters also, their complaint sheets. We have a Twitter feed. If there are negatives, we quickly go to the school,” Morrison said.
“There was one person [where] we terminated the contract because the person was not adhering to the protocols, was not following the agreements we put in place … So if anything goes wrong we take the contract from the caterer and reallocate the contract to another caterer.’’
It is not the first time a caterer has been expelled under the School Feeding Programme. In June 2009 eight caterers were dismissed from the programme in the Volta Region.
Honourable Cynthia Morrison stressed again that people should desist from playing politics with the School Feeding Programme, amid reports of such practices in parts of the Northern Region.
Extension of programme
The Gender Minister announced that the programme will be extended to private schools following a directive from the president.
“Everything is in place for both private and public schools. Ordinarily, we do only public schools but the president says we should do both private and public schools.’’
She also confirmed that funds have been disbursed to feed the students during the ten-week period in school.
The School Feeding Programme, which was set up by the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor, provides hot meals to schoolchildren as an incentive to improve school attendance.
Schools all set
Starting yesterday (5 October), second-year students in both senior high schools and junior high schools began returning to school, in line with a directive from the Ghana Education Service (GES).
This is to enable the students to complete the third term and second semester of the academic year.
All the students have been given personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure that they adhere strictly to all the COVID-19 protocols to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.
In the run-up to Monday’s reopening, the government had carried out a fumigation and disinfection exercise in all schools across Ghana.
By Fred Dzakpata