Pay the school feeding caterers

Pay the school feeding caterers

●Concerns of the caterers should be addressed quickly

 Dear Editor,

I am writing to add my voice to the concerns of the School Feeding Ca­terers who have declared a strike over the delay in payment for services they had rendered.

The caterers, mostly women, have also asked for an increase in the school feeding grant from 0.97 pesewas to 3.5 pese­was but their calls seem to be falling on deaf ears.

I have been listening to some of the caterers early this week and I must say their situation and that of the affected pu­pils in public basic schools is pathetic.

Clearly, the govern­ment is facing financial challenges hence the inability to fulfil its financial obligations to the school feeding service providers. But I believe the situation could be handled carefully so that the caterers do not feel they are being taken for granted.

Considering that the school programme is one of government’s flag­ship programmes which, among other things, is aimed at increasing enrollment and retain­ing pupils on schools, the government should be able to prioritise the needs of working within the sector.

Some of the cater­ers say they owe their suppliers due to the delay in the release of funds, hence their inability to continue serving the pupils. This is a sad com­mentary on a programme the government takes so much pride in.

I urge the government to take urgent steps to address the challenges as quickly as possible. But if the government, in any case, wants to scrap the programme, then it must be said in plain language and stop playing hide and seek with the caterers.

Paul Kwame Koranteng,

Suhum, Eastern Region

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