The Parliamentary committee on local government and rural development wants the Ministry of Finance to increase the budgetary allocation for the school feeding programme.
The allocation for the programmes which stood at 50 pesewas per student per day was increases to 80 pesewas in the 2015 budget.
But the committee chairman, Dominic Azimbe Azumah wants the amount to be increased to GHC 1.
“We think that the 80 pesewas is woefully inadequate and if they could adjust it to GHC 1 even though we still think that GHC 1 is nothing…but because of the numbers, we think that we could limit that for now to GHC 1.”
The school feeding programme has been experiencing serious challenges since 2012.
[contextly_sidebar id=”yMs6SIFcUxPzV7X9j4HWEPM4iEyvA5aY”]Some caterers who have not been paid have threatened to abandon the programme and those who are still under the programme are preparing food in little quantities due to financial constraint.
Some students have also complained about the poor quality of food served to them by the caterers.
Mr. Azimbe Azumbe observed that the school feeding programme has proven to be impactful in school enrollment as well as growing local economies, therefore, it should not be allowed to collapse.
The committee is also recommending that funds allocated to finance the programme should directly come from the Finance Ministry and not through the District Assembly Common Fund.
“Tying the release of the School Feeding Grant to the Common Fund is not the best,” he complained, adding that “the Common Fund is strictly meant to be disbursed to the various Districts Assemblies for their developmental programmes so asking the administrator to part with part of the Common Fund for school feeding indirectly is telling the administrator to reduce the quantum of money that goes to the Districts.”
“And so sometimes, they feel reluctant in releasing the money if at all the money has come,” he remarked.
Mr. Azumbe also recommended that all funds meant for the school feeding programme should be reflected in the budget and provisions should be made to ensure the release of funds are made directly from the Ministry of Finance to the school feeding.
By: Efua Idan Osam/citifmonline.com/Ghana