School feeding caterers strike; 5,000 schools affected
Caterers under the Ghana National School Feeding Programme have laid down their tools demanding payment of all arrears owed them.
The strike which has affected over 5,000 schools across the country has affected the feeding of school children who benefit from the programme.
Speaking to Citi News the Head of Public Relations for Programme Alhaji Siba Alpha said the strike has affected the programme but was quick to add that measures are being put in place to pay the caterers.
“Some of the caterers have issues with the money they got and that is what we are trying to address and that notwithstanding shouldn’t be a pretext for the caterers not to cook because it is a contract they have with us and their contract have not been truncated, their contracts have not been cancelled so far as they are concerned they have to cook so that whatever issues they have will be addressed.”
He also wondered why the caterers had resorted to a strike when they had been specifically instructed to forward their concerns to their regional coordinators.
“The issues have to do with the payment and we told them that if any caterer was underpaid or the caterer has issues with their normal figures we have established a complaint desk in all our regional secretariats.
“If you are aware we have regional coordinators in all the ten regions and we told them that they should go to the schools together with the headmistress and they will submit it to the Regional office and do verification and check whatever differences there is.”
In 2005, the then New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in collaboration with the Dutch government, started a school feeding programme known as the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).
But since 2012, the managers of the programme have been struggling to effectively sustain it due to low budgetary allocation, poor nutritional content, and the non-payment of salaries of the caterers, among others.