Education MPs urge depoliticisation of national school feeding programme

It follows the suspension of the programme in some communities after persons suspected to be  New Patriotic Party sympathisers stop some of the caterers engaged in the programme.

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Members of Parliament have called for depoliticisation of the national school feeding programme in order to ensure the commitment of stakeholders.

It follows the suspension of the programme in some communities after persons suspected to be  New Patriotic Party sympathisers stop some of the caterers engaged in the programme.

The call was made when the MP for Ejura-Sekyeredumase, Muhammed Bawah Braimah, made a statement on the floor of parliament on the suspension of the school feeding programme in his constituency.

He said the programme has contributed to high school enrollment in deprived communities in his constituency.

He called on the government and key stakeholders to take steps to revive the programme across the country.

The suspension of the programme has affected at least 15,000 beneficiary pupils, according to the Ekura-Sekyeredumase Municipal Co-ordinating Director, Alhaji Hafiz.

Contributing to the discussion, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, MP for Suame, said the programme is mandatory in the constitution because it forms part of the free basic education the constitution envisages.

"The school feeding programme takes it root from the constitution," he said, quoting the constitution to buttress his point.

According to him, the programme "is only meant to provide food for the pupils but contribute to raising the health standards of the school kids as well as reducing poverty."

He attributed to the current challenges facing the programme to the "unfortunate destruction of the structure of the organisation that linking local farmers to the caterers which we have not been able to do and the unnecessary politicisation of the programme.

Former Deputy Minister of Education and MP for North Tongu, Samuel Ablakwa Okudzeto, said partisanship should be taken out in the implementation of the programme.

"The Honourable MP has told us that the underlining issue is partisanship. We need to condemn this and we need to find a more sustainable fund moving forward.

"We need to take partisanship out of important national programme such as the national school feeding programme," he said.

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