Ghana School Feeding Programme to cover 1.5 million children in 2012 – Mahama

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has said the School Feeding Pogramme would cover an estimated 1.5 million children, thus more than doubling the 700,000 children, who were on the programme in 2008.

This, he said, is the result of the implementation of the review strategies to expand and re-target the Feeding Programme towards improving the nutritional status of children, increasing enrolment and creating an enlarged market for local food products.

Vice President Mahama said this in a speech read for him at the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Hohoe Evangelical Presbyterian Senior High School (HEPSS) under the theme, “Quality Education, a Shared Responsibility.”

He disclosed that GH¢50 million was allocated for the programme this year, while an additional GH¢10 million in the supplementary budget had been released.

He said over one million children representing an increase of about 400,000 were being fed.

Vice President Mahama explained that the re-targeting exercise was aimed at reducing the dominance of urban schools and redirecting the Programme to serve both urban and rural schools where the children most needed the food.

He indicated that the procurement of local food products under the scheme stood at 40 per cent but the Government was aiming at increasing this to 80 per cent within the next two years.

Vice President Mahama said the Government hoped to supply about 700,000 laptop computers to students to promote the learning of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with 20,000 being achieved by the close of November.

He said: “The unique thing is that all laptops are being assembled locally.”

Under the free exercise books programme, the Vice President said about 40 million books were distributed representing 93.8 per cent coverage.

He said the distribution of free school uniforms, which is a phenomenal success, is ongoing and would be expanded next year. Eighty per cent coverage has been achieved.

“Next year, we intend to decentralise the programme further and give greater impetus to the District Assemblies to own it fully,” he said.

Vice President Mahama entreated Regional Ministers, Regional Directors, District Chief Executives and District Directors to speedily clear the backlog by distributing all uniforms locked up in stores.

Source: GNA

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