In a bid to verify reports of food shortages in some Senior High Schools in the country, a Deputy Minister for Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, on Thursday, September 2, 2021, visited some schools in the Greater Accra Region.
According to the Deputy Minister, authorities at the schools he visited had enough food in stock.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Ntim Fordjour reported on what he observed in the schools he visited.
“I went to O’Reilly Senior High School and ended with Achimota Senior High. We met the housemaster at O’Reilly, we even visited their storerooms and there were stocks. We were told that they had enough and will inform us when they run out of food.”
”I then visited Tema Senior High School, they had been served very nutritious meals. I asked some students whether it was so because they were aware I was coming over, and they said that that was what they are mostly served with.”
“Indeed, the headmaster of the school also debunked the assertion that there is shortage of food in the school. I asked to see the stores and I confirmed that for myself. I then headed to the Achimota Senior High School, the Headmistress for instance was shocked to hear that the school’s name was mentioned as part of schools experiencing shortage of food. Indeed pictures I took from the various storerooms of the schools attest to the fact that there is nothing like that.”
He vowed that his account of the situation in the schools he visited is nothing but the truth.
“It will be rather unfortunate that I will go and see empty stores and report otherwise. These are real pictures of what I saw on the ground. The students are writing their final examinations and if for nothing at all we will not want to compromise on the sucesss of their examinations.”
“We won’t go and see them struggling and report otherwise, just to prove a point.”
He indicated that he will “continue monitoring closely and will make sure that we respond swiftly if anything like that comes up.”
“We will keep our eyes on the schools too, and will ensure that we create the right environment for quality teaching and learning,” he added.
Concerns about the shortage of food have come from parents, former students, and some teachers.
The Ghana National Association of Teachers, for example, raised an alarm and gave the government an ultimatum to address the issue.
But since then, the government and regulators have come out to downplay the reports.
The Ministry of Education denied the shortage saying its checks had shown schools had enough food.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education, Kwasi Kwarteng, said to Citi News he “was even with the PRO of GES when she called a headteacher of one of the schools who confirmed that it is not true. The situation according to our checks is not entirely as is being painted.”
The Ghana Education Service has also said it has begun investigations into the reports of food shortage.
Director-General of GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa also said he felt the reports were exaggerated.
“As far as our records go, there is nothing like that. We have officially not received complaints from any of the schools over the issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Adutwum who visited the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School (PRESEC) at Legon after reports that the school was among the high schools allegedly facing food shortage also reported that the school’s students and management made claims to the contrary.