'One school, One Kitchen' To Be Rolled Out In Tema West
Mr Kwesi Poku Bosompem, the Presiding Member for the Tema West Municipal Assembly, has revealed that a policy to fit every basic, Junior and Senior High School with a kitchen will soon be operationalised.
Calling it, 'One school, One kitchen' policy, Mr Bosompem said plans were far advanced to roll out the policy.
'The School Feeding programme is one of the numerous social interventions that the New Patriotic Party (NPP), out of our realistic governance style, instituted for the sake of the masses. Since President Kufuor initiated the policy, it has grown and needs updates.
'We have realised that the current system where school caterers are allowed to prepare the food from wherever they wish and bring it to the students to eat is not safe, and so we have come up with the policy to fit every school with a kitchen where the caterers can work from and therefore be effectively monitored by the school authorities,' Mr Bosompem said.
According to him, the roll out of the policy would increase food hygiene and safety for beneficiary students.
The School which was started by the first NPP government led by President John Agyekum Kufuor, currently has at least 200,000 students on its beneficiary list.
The programme, like all other ones, faced numerous challenges, but weathered all storms.
Mr Bosompem said the 'One School, One Kitchen' policy was aimed at nourishing the programme.
'Rome was not built in a day, and progress is usually in phases; this is one of the phases of improvement in the school feeding policy. First we started putting food on the table for the kids, now we want to make sure the food is prepared within the schools themselves'
He likened the gradual nature of progress in the school feeding programme to the Free SHS programme, which was currently in the news because of government's re-introduction of the shift system, in order to enable the many children who had been attracted into school by the policy to get enough contact hours with teachers.
Mr Bosompem said those seeing the introduction of the shift system into SHS education as a retrogression had gotten it all wrong.
According to him, the twist and turns in the policy was rather a demonstration that in spite of the many challenges of the policy and its implementation, government was poised to ensure that it succeeded.
'It is like climbing a tree, sometimes in order to successfully swing for a branch, you have to take steps backwards,' he said.