School Feeding should be extended to Junior High School Students – C0HBS

School Feeding should be extended to Junior High School Students

By Nicholas Osei-Wusu

The Conference of Heads of Basic Schools, COHBS, has urged the government to, as a matter of priority, modify the School Feeding Programme in its current form to cover pupils at all public basic schools including those in Junior High Schools.

According to the Basic School Heads, it is discriminatory and worrying for Senior High School Students, both boarding and Day, to be fed free meals on daily basis while the school feeding programme caters for only pupils from KG Two to Primary Six in selected schools.

The Acting National President of the Conference, Madam Mercy Akayila Anuembee, made the call in Kumasi, at this year’s National Delegates’ Conference of the COHBS.
Madam Akayila Anuembee, noted that the exclusion of Junior High School Pupils from the School Feeding Programme while Senior High school students enjoy free meals as very worrying adding that the situation is affecting enrolment and retention of pupils.
The Acting National President of COHBS mentioned other challenges that are seriously undermining teaching and learning at the basic school level.

Among them are delays in the release of the Capitation Grant, unavailability of Teaching and Learning materials to complement the new curriculum and huge sanitation and utility bills and poor physical infrastructure to provide conducive atmosphere for teaching and learning in the schools.

These, she appealed to the government to give attention to.

The Conference of Heads of Basic Schools, COHBS, is the umbrella welfare body of heads of public basic schools made up of Primary and Junior High Schools across the country.

COHBS, which presently has more than four thousand members, is also concerned with the state of basic school education in the country.

The three-day National Conference, which is on the theme: “Elevating Basic Education in Ghana; The Key Role of the Basic School Head”, is a platform also for the members to elect new batch of Executives to manage the Conference in the next few years.

Citation and an undisclosed amount of cash were handed over to the former national officers and others for their exemplary contributions to the Conference.

The Director of Pre-Tertiary Education at the Ministry of Education, Nana Baffuor Awuah, who represented the sector Minister, said the government considers basic education and the heads of the schools as a very important part of the national educational system and is therefore investing in the sub-sector.

In a solidarity message, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, GNAT reminded the government of the prevailing unfavorable cost of living among workers due to the rising inflation rate, transport fares and the projected increase in utility bills. Government should therefore be prepared to provide workers with commensurate salary adjustments for next year.

The Guest Speaker, Madam Gifty Anyogbe Apanbil, entreated Heads of Basic Schools to develop innovative and creative strategies that would make their schools stand out in their respective localities. Madam Apanbil, who is also a former Deputy General Secretary, reminded the government that basic schools remain the core and foundation of Ghana’s educational system for which it must give considerable attention to its resourcing.

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