THE National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Mr S.P. Adamu, has called on politicians to spare the programme the continuous politicisation to enable it to achieve its laudable objectives.
He said as a national programme of immense benefits, the GSFP must be supported by all persons irrespective of their political persuasions.
Speaking at the annual district level stakeholders meeting of the programme in the Ashanti Region in Kumasi, Mr Adamu said: “This programme came during President Kufuor’s administration and today President Mills is building on it so there is no need to play any kind of politics with it.”
“The GSFP is dear to the heart of every right thinking Ghanaian,” he stressed.
Mr Adamu, therefore, noted that if all Ghanaians threw their full weight behind the programme, there was no way that it would not change the face of the educational system for the better.
The meeting organised by the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the GSFP brought together key actors overseeing the implementation of the programme in the various districts to share their experiences for the year 2010, and strategise on possible new approaches to remove the bottlenecks in the system.
The coordinator commended the government for showing so much commitment to the development of the GSFP and pledged that managers of the programme would continue to work assiduously towards improving standards.
After five years of the programme, the national coordinator noted that there was the need to review certain aspects in order to introduce new and affective ways of getting things going.
He indicated that some lapses had been detected in the running of the programme at the regional and district levels and plans were underway to correct them.
He mentioned for instance the uncoordinated activities of the actors and stressed that there must be link-ups between the various players so that together they could get the best for the pupils.
Mr Adamu urged caterers under the GSFP to purchase their food items from the local people to help bring money into the pockets of the local farmers.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, who opened the meeting, reminded the gathering that the GSFP was part of the government’s efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goals on eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, and improving basic education.
The programme therefore needed the support of all people irrespective of political leanings.
So far, he said, the positive impacts of the programme had been felt but much was needed to make it more effective and to further increase the coverage to schools.
Mr Opoku-Manu mentioned managerial disregard to lay down systems as one major challenge confronting the programme, and called for the managers to play to the rules.
In an interview, the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the GSFP, Mrs Ophelia Antwi-Boasiako, said her outfit was determined to put in measures that would further advance the course of the programme in 2011.
She said caterers in the region were happy that payments for work done were now forthcoming.
She, therefore, urged them to reciprocate the move by always feeding the pupils on time and with quality meals.