By Bertha Badu-Agyei, GNA,
Akropong, Nov 30, GNA - Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima Kwanwoma constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection has stressed the need for infrastructure to be improved under the school feeding programme.
He said “the school feeding must engage our attention to provide canteens or dining halls as part of school building infrastructure to ensure that safety and quality of the food served the children was not compromised on”.
Dr Appiah- Kubi who was speaking in an interview with the GNA after visiting some beneficiary schools in the Akuapem North district said the programme had come to stay and must be given the needed attention in terms of infrastructure to assure quality.
He noted that the story of poor infrastructure as to where the food was prepared and served to children was not different from all the schools visited by the committee, in the Western, central and Eastern regions.
He said in line with their mandate, they would recommend to parliament and government as to how to improve on it for the ultimate benefit to be derived.
Madam Helen Ntoso, Member of Parliament for Krachi West and ranking member of the committee, said they had observed that Directors of Education of the various beneficiary schools had no idea of who the caterers were and where the food they were feeding the children with, was coming from.
Again, she noted that caterers were selected from the head office to the various districts without the knowledge of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and therefore it was difficult for them to monitor caterer’s performance.
Ms Ntoso said the quantity and quality was another key issue aside infrastructure, all the schools they had visited in the four regions, they received complaints from the children that the quality and quantity was poor.
She said most of the kitchen environment, where the food was cooked under poor hygienic conditions and must be looked at to ensure safety for the children.
She said for instance in some of the schools in central region, the children complained of insects in the beans and rice and stressed the need for MMDCEs to be allowed to appoint caterers from their jurisdiction to be able to monitor them.
The team earlier, visited the Mampong School for Deaf, had a closed door meeting with the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Dennis Aboagye on their findings and observations and how best to address them.
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