UNABLE to bear the tears and misery of kindergarten children in his town every lunch time during school days, a chief is making a special appeal to the government bring smiles to the faces of the children.
The chief and people of Sampa, in the Gomoa District of the Central Region have appealed to the government to urgently consider extending the National School Feeding Programme to the kindergarten level.
“Leaving out children at the kindergarten level in the free feeding programme is unfair,” Nana Okra Tawiah V, chief of Sampa, said at a durbar to welcome Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment to the town on Thursday.
Nana Tawiah said children in the kindergarten section cried any time pupils of the local primary school were being served free meals.
He explained that the district assembly primary and kindergarten schools with 136 and 94 pupils respectively are close to each other. The pre-primary pupils can therefore see their primary school counterparts being served lunch and naturally expect to be served too.
“The kids come to school with the idea that they could also enjoy the free meal their brothers and sisters are offered, but are greatly disappointed.
“There is always wailing in the town at lunch time,” Nana Tawiah said.
Nana, however, commended the government for introducing the feeding programme and the capitative grant which have helped increase school enrolment significantly in the town, but said the programme would be more successful when the pre-school level is included.
Responding to the appeal, Mr Asamoah Boateng assured the chief and people that the feeding programme would be extended to include children in the town's pre-school.
He tasked the District Assembly and the District Education Directorate to see to that by next week.
He commended the contribution towards the effective implementation of the programme.
It is costing the government over ў170 billion to implement the National School Feeding Programme on a nation-wide pilot basis for public basic schools this year. The Dutch government is paying half of the cost.
More than 1.5 million pupils in 250 schools are to benefit .
The pre-primary school are expected to be added to the programme after five years of its implementation, when it would have covered all basic schools in the country.
The Minister explained, however, that kindergarten schools could be considered in situations like that of Sampa where the primary and the pre-primary schools are within cluster of schools or very close.