Crisis in SHS: Schools in Upper West to stop feeding students by next Friday

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Heads of public senior high schools in the Upper West Region have resolved that if nothing is done to address food shortages in the schools by Friday, July 15, 2022, they “will be compelled to tell parents and guardians to either feed their wards or come for them since it will be impossible to continue feeding them with nothing”.

The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS), the association of public secondary schools in the region, said they arrived at this resolution after a meeting that “thoroughly” discussed “the food and money situation in the schools”.

They have also asked that extra-curricular activities such as sports and cultural festivities should be suspended because of the lack of funding.

These and other concerns raised by the Upper West CHASS are contained in a letter to the regional director of the Ghana Education Service (GES).

According to the heads, the schools would continue to improvise with whatever was available until the July 15 deadline.

“All schools will feed students with only what is available in the school food stores and students will be asked to bring their own sugar and other items to the dining hall.”

The Fourth Estate has learned that the problem has persisted for some time now in a number of schools across the country. Our sources say some parent associations support the feeding of their wards secretly because, under the Free SHS policy, parent-teacher associations (PTA) have been stopped from paying some of the contributions they used to offer for the running of schools.

Some heads of public SHSs have said they fear they would be labeled as undermining the Free SHS policy if they ask parents to pay for something, hence the secret contribution by some parents.

The issue of food shortage is not new, but the government has often denied the problem. The Upper West Region CHASS said the current shortage has been as a result of the “non-payment of outstanding monies owed for food supplies to the schools.”

Attached are two letters; one written by CHASS to the Upper West Regional Director of the  GES and the other from the regional director to the Director-General of GES in Accra.

A letter from the Upper West Regional CHASS to the GES regional director
The letter from the Upper West Regional Director to GES to the Director-General of GES in Accra

 

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