Minister for Education and Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe Constituency, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum has assured cases of food shortage in Senior High Schools will be a thing of the past at the end of this academic year.
Speaking in an interview monitored by AcademicWeek, the Education Minister said the central government through the Ministry of Education has put in place adequate measures to curb the worrying food shortage in schools.
“There will be an end to food shortage in Senior High Schools, money is coming this year you will see a different Ministry of Education and Buffer stock. We will put an end to the shortages,” Dr Adutwum said in the interview.
Asked if the challenges facing the country’s economy will make it possible for the Ministry in charge of Education (MoE) to end the food crisis in second-cycle schools, Osei Yaw said President Akufo-Addo is committed to education.
“Because of the priority, President Nana Addo has placed on education. This president has so much more premium on education that even in times of crisis he is saying education must soldier on,” the Minister for Education noted.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare has attributed the cases of food shortage in various government Senior High Schools due to the lack of funds to pay the debt owed to suppliers of the foodstuff.
In a social media post sighted by AcademicWeek, the policy analyst and Education Watch Director said government debt owed food suppliers has increased from GHC340 million in July to almost GHC570 million in September 2022.
“Government of Ghana (GoG) debt to SHS food suppliers has increased from GHC 340 m in July 2022 to almost GHC 570 m in Sept 2022-Story behind the food shortages. Truth is, we are damn broke. Speed up the IMF deal,” he stated.
The Education think tank Executive Director added “most of these suppliers are simply broke, the reason there is always a cycle of food shortage in some SHS. The current food inflation situation is compounding the situation.”
Suggesting what can be done to end the shortage in Senior High Schools, he said until the Finance Ministry is able to disburse Free SHS funds on schedule, the cycle of food shortages will regrettably, become a culture like the Capitation Grant delays.
“We all know the solution to this, but since we are not ready, I advise parents to provide adequate food for their wards in boarding SHS. Increase the sardine, tuna flakes, corn flakes, biscuit, gari, shito, milk, milo, etc,” the Kofi Asare stated.