The Sissala Literacy and Development Programme (SILDEP) in collaboration with SNV have carried out an assessment on the implementation of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region.
Mr Moses Luri, Executive Director of SILDEP, told the GNA that the objective of the assessment was to enable them come out with the current state of the programme in the district and share the findings with key stakeholders for appropriate interventions to be effected.
He said since the start of the programme in the 2005/06 academic year with only three beneficiary schools from the district, its implementation process had met some challenges which needed to be brought to the fore to be addressed by stakeholders.
The lack of a full time desk officer, delay in the release of funds, lack of logistical support in the form of transport for monitoring and the lack of effective coordination and information sharing were some of the major challenges identified during the assessment.
Mr Luri said it was also observed that caterers sometimes had to borrow money from other sources to keep the programme going because of the delay in the release of funds meant for the smooth running of the programme.
He recommended that there should be effective collaboration between the District Assembly and the District Education Directorate in the selection of caterers for schools to prevent imposition.
He said the issue of valid health certificates should be re-enforced to ensure that caterers were healthy and fit to cook for the children.
Mr Luri proposed that the GSFP should be managed by the Ghana Education Service (GES) who then report to the District Assembly since GES was directly managing the beneficiary schools.
He said funds should be released early and deposited into the accounts of the beneficiary schools which would then be jointly managed by the Head teachers, Matrons and the Parents Teacher Associations", he stressed.
Mr Luri said the community members were generally happy about the programme but needed to be properly sensitized on their possible roles to help sustain the programme.