The Ranking Member on the Education Committee of Parliament, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, is against the suggestion that parents should donate food to senior high schools in response to reports of food shortages.
Speaking to Citi News, he argued that the government is solely responsible for the welfare of students under the Free SHS policy.
“Once you have taken the responsibility that parents should not contribute to the education nor feeding of their wards in secondary schools, the government must make sure that they provide the wards with the necessary things they need,” the Akatsi North MP said.
“How is it going to be organised? I don’t think it will be effective,” he added further.
As a remedy to the reported food shortages, Mr. Nortsu-Kotoe urged the government to “make money available for the contractors and the suppliers to be paid.”
He contended that the government’s inability to clear the debts can largely be blamed for the shortage of food in the various schools.
“At the beginning of the year, we indicated that the government was owing a lot of food suppliers,” the MP said.
“Heads of various schools cannot go and buy anything on credit because if you do so and they don’t pay, the suppliers will hold you responsible.”
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 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.