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23.11.2009 Education

School Feeding Programme is suffering from structural dislocation

By GNA
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School Feeding Programme is suffering from structural dislocation

November 23, 2009
Accra, Nov. 23, GNA - The National Co-ordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (NSFP) Alhaji Suleman Abdul Rahman on Monday noted that his outfit is suffering from structural dislocation and mal administration.

He said the administrative machinery lacked the mechanism to co-ordinate activities of the NSFP with the mother ministry (Ministry of Education) and the district offices.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra he said: "The number of kids on the programme has been bloated given rise to widespread corruption."

Alhaji Rahman said procurement was done haphazardly leading to the purchasing of 600 gallons of soap, which were lying in the warehouse of the NSFP.

He stressed: "450 bags of rice were left to go mouldy and the Food and Drugs Board has directed that they should be destroyed.

"The Secretariat owes 90,000 Ghana Cedis to people who supplied rice and plates to the programme four years ago.

"There is inadequate capacity building for staff whilst lack of effective monitoring and evaluation is hampering efforts of the programme to get its priorities right.

"People were appointed without appointment letters and written job descriptions. There was also lack of involvement of the communities and the district assemblies in the selection of caterers."

The national co-ordinator observed that the NSFP operated without qualified personnel in functional areas whilst capturing of data was not effective.

Alhaji Rahman said he would re-organise the programme and ensure that it covered the schools it was originally intended for.

He said he would take some schools off the programme after critical evaluation.

Alhaji Rahman promised to hit the target of more than one million beneficiaries by 2010. Currently 656, 624 pupils are benefiting from the programme in 170 districts.

He pledged to have a smooth dissemination of policy from the secretariat to the school implementation committees and go by the procurement law and policy.

"I will not employ one person to over supply or under supply the secretariat with goods."

He said he would also abide by the mandate of the programme to feed the pupils with locally produced food to boost school enrolment, promote the health of the beneficiaries and ensure that the farmers got ready market for their produce.

"I will co-ordinate programme activities and ensure consistency in the implementation arrangement in the districts."

Alhaji Rahman said he would provide the regional and district co-ordinators with computers to create a network to ensure proper co-ordination of work.

"I will employ the use of the ARGOS monitoring system to facilitate reliable and sustainable collection of data," he said.

Alhaji Rahman said he would bring on board his expertise as a former High Court Registrar and his Banking, Finance, Administration and Economics background to improve the management of the NSFP.

"I will make sure that nothing is done illegally, be financially prudent and transparent in my dealings with everybody including the donor implementation partners and programme recipients.

GNA

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