The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has indicated that from January 2016 every child under the school feeding program will be registered on the National Health Insurance scheme.

Announcing this at a school feeding event in Accra Tuesday, Nana Oye Lithur, said the move would ensure that the exact number of children on the scheme can be tracked for sustainable provision of their nutritional needs.

She added that the registration of children onto the NHIS, “will serve two purposes: we will get data of the real numbers of children who are being fed because we have instances where there has been an over-bloating, in addition we will ensure that the children have access to healthcare”.

The School Feeding Programme, which was introduced in 2005 has come under some criticisms following the quality of food served the children.

However, Nana Oye said nutritionists would be consulted to draw a feeding plan for the children.

“We will be forging a closer relationship with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service because we need to find out what is the appropriate time to feed the children,” she added.

On the issue of caterers not receiving their payment on time, Nana Oye said “I am happy to announce that we will pay [ some of the arrears owed Caterers] before the end of December [2015].”

The School Feeding Programme is to provide one main meal for children to enable them stay in school and prevent them from loitering around.

About 1.7 million children are currently on the programme, fed with less than GHC1.00 a day.