The Government of Ghana (GoG) owes Free SHS food suppliers more than GH¢320 million, with some dating as far as 2021, the Executive Director of Education Think Tank – Africa Education Watch, Mr Kofi Asare has disclosed.
In a social media post sighted by AcademicWeek, Kofi said “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.”
Commenting on food shortage in some 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 Director stated.
His comment comes after the Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) said Senior High School students will be compelled to feed themselves if sufficient money and food are not received in schools by July 15.
In a press statement copied to AcademicWeek, CHASS said local Food suppliers contracted by the Buffer Stock Company are refusing to supply due to non-payment of outstanding monies owed for food supplied to schools.
“This has led to serious food shortages in all schools in the region. In fact assessment of the situation indicated that most Senior High Schools (SHS) cannot go beyond one week if nothing urgent is done about it
All schools will feed students with only whatever is available in the school food stores and students will be asked to bring their own sugar and other items to the dining hall,” the Upper West Regional CHASS stated in the release.
It added “if sufficient money and food are not received in the schools by Friday, July 15, 2022. We will be compelled to tell parents to either feed their wards or come for them since it will be impossible to continue to feed them.”
According to the Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools, prospective students preparing to write their final examination amid the food shortage will also be compelled to feed themselves or come from home to write the examination.