The Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison, has indicated that her ministry will not hesitate to terminate the contract of any caterer who fails to cook for the BECE candidates.
The Minister made the remarks on Wednesday, August 26 when she visited some junior high schools in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region following complaints of non-compliance with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s one-hot-meal-a-day directive.
On Sunday, August 16, President Akufo-Addo in his 15th televised address to the nation mentioned that government through the Gender Ministry will provide one hot meal for all BECE candidates across the country.
The programme was scheduled to begin on Monday August 24.
But the rollout was met with a lot of challenges particulary in some of the northern regions.
In the Northern, Savannah and North East regions, for instance, caterers contracted to supply the food failed to cook on Day One of the exercise.
The Gender Minister in an interview on 3FM said her ministry will investigate the issues.
Food was, however, served on Day Two of the exercise.
But it was not without controversies.
While some of the food had posters of parliamentary candidates enbossed on them, others had to proclaim the ‘4 More 4 Nana’ slogan before they were served the food.
Other students also complained about the quantity and quality of the food.
Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister Cynthia Morrison, who was in the Northern Region, visited some of the schools to monitor the distribution of the food.
Speaking to the media at Jisonayili L/A Junior High School, she expressed satisfaction with the food served the students and their teachers.
She cautioned caterers who will want to derail the process, pointing out that her Ministry will not hesitate to terminate contract of persons who want to sabotage the process.
“This is an intervention by the President which is aimed at keeping the students in school ahead of their examination. We shall terminate the contract of any caterer who want to derail this good initiative,” she said.
Reacting to the various pictures and videos on social media of images of parliamentary candidates, the Minister said they were not sanctioned by her ministry.
“I have gone round the schools and the pupils are saying the food didn’t come with the branded party images so I think it’s part of the usual propaganda.”
The Northern Regional Coordinator of the School Feeding Program, Felicia Tetteh, said she will ensure the caterers do the right thing.
Meanwhile, some headmasters of some JHSs in the Northern Region have welcomed the free hot meal for teachers and students in the Region.
They say the provision of the meal has helped in keeping the students in school.