The Insight newspaper’s Managing Editor, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has criticized Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia over his plans to digitize the School Feeding Programme in Ghana.
The School Feeding Programme is a social protection initiative that aims to provide one hot and nutritious meal per day to pupils in public primary schools and kindergartens across the country. It also seeks to increase school enrolment, attendance and retention, reduce hunger and malnutrition, boost domestic food production, and create employment opportunities.
Dr. Bawumia announced that he would introduce a digital system called “e-feeding” to monitor the meals served to students in real-time, ensure their quality, and prevent fraudulent claims3. He said this would address issues such as corruption and the existence of “ghost schools and ghost children.” He made this statement at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Fijai Senior High School in Takoradi.
However, Kwesi Pratt said that Dr. Bawumia’s solution was not realistic and that he was ignoring the real challenges faced by the caterers under the programme. He said that he was disappointed by the kind of food that Ghanaian students were being fed under the programme. He showed a video of a soup that looked watery and unappetizing.
He said “I don’t know why we should be worried about the school feeding programme. The solution has been provided already… You didn’t hear the vice president, he is going to digitalise the School Feeding Programme… The vice president found the solution a long time ago, digitalisation. For every problem digitalisation.”
He added: “Look at the video being played this is the food the children are being fed. Look at the soup. All of us if our children are being fed with this would we be happy?.. even prisoners don’t eat like this.”
Meanwhile, Mrs Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has appealed to the Caterers of the Ghana School Feeding Programme to call off their strike. She said they would receive their payments for their arrears for the third term of 2022 academic year within this week