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Africa Education Watch commends GES for probe into alleged food diversion in some SHSs

Education think tank, Africa Education Watch, has commended the Ghana Education Service and the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service for their efforts in probing some 53 Senior High Schools alleged to have diverted food supplies.

According to the think tank, various reports including the Auditor General’s report had given pieces of information that suggested some irregularities with the supply and use of Free SHS food, but no indication was given about the magnitude of such a problem.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday, May 10, 2021, the Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, said the development is surprising as most headmasters had rather indicated that the foods provided schools were not enough or were of poor quality.

He wondered how amidst the inadequacy of the foods supplied, the schools were able to cut down on the food prepared for students and sold a fraction of it on the open market.

“We [Africa Education Watch] haven’t witnessed any such occurrence since the introduction of the Free SHS programme even though we have heard about such instances through various mediums. The sense you get is that some headmasters are complaining that the food is not adequate while others are actually wondering why school heads could do food for cash and reduce the food that they’ve received and still manage it for the whole population. It is actually one that beats my imagination because they have been complaining that the food is not enough,” he stated.

It emerged on Monday that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service is investigating 53 Senior High Schools in the Ashanti Region over alleged corruption in the implementation of the School Feeding Programme under the Free Senior High School policy.

Management of the GES has since written to the Ashanti Regional Directorate to ensure that all school heads and other officials cooperate with the ongoing investigations.

Some of the schools listed in the statement are Afia Serwaa Kobi Ampem SHS, Adu Gyamfi SHS, Kumasi Anglican, Kumasi Girls, Kumasi Wesley Girls, KNUST SHS, and Opoku Ware SHS.

Kofi Asare said the issue remains dicey. He wants the CID to do a thorough job in making sure that processes of food disbursement and the use of it are done right.

“We can only expect that the CID will delve much deeper into the issue and ensure that there is value for money. We commend the GES and the CID for this collaborative effort.”

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