Africa Education Watch, a think tank on education has said that a 200 percent increase in the expense of the school feeding program is necessary to provide beneficiaries with nutritious food.
According to the think tank, this is the solution to the continuing demand for an increase in the price of feeding and the payment of arrears due caterers under the initiative.
The intervention to enhance the quality of food served to students will close a GH3 billion gap as a result of the percentage rise.
In order to prevent the policy from collapsing, according to Kofi Asare, Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, the government must implement the automatic adjustment formula of financing the policy.
“What the caterers need is not a 10 percent adjustment in the unit cost of feeding. It wouldn’t do anything. At least a 200 percent increase in the feeding budget is GH¢3 billion and that is required to provide decent food for children in basic schools to be consistent with what government is paying for in providing lunch at the SHS level.”
Following the start of classes on Tuesday, April 4, some caterers who were part of the government’s school food program have ceased operations.
Following the government’s failure to pay arrears owed to them, the caterers threatened to stop working and made the choice to discontinue their services.
The caterers claim that the current amount is unsustainable due to the current state of the economy and the high cost of food commodities, and they are also asking for an increase in the amount the government gives per child daily from GHp 97 to GH3.
“The Minster of Finance must review the framework and ensure that expenditure allocation and projection for the Ghana school feeding program is consistent with the exigencies of the time in terms of the nutritional needs of the students, inflationary trends”, Kofi Asare added.