The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) and its development partner, the World Food Programme (WFP), have carried out a joint national monitoring of the programme in some selected districts in four regions.
It is meant to assess the impact of the practical nutrition and innovation training organized for caterers and head cooks in 2019.
The weeklong joint monitoring was done in the Sekyere Kumawu, Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere East, Adansi North, Bekwai Municipal, Adansi South, Obuasi Municipal, Adansi Akrofrom and Obuasi East districts all in the Ashanti Region.
The rest were; Sene West, Sene East, Pru West and Pru East in the Bono East Region; Asunafo North and Asunafo South in the Ahafo Region and Tain district and Wenchi Municipal in the Bono Region.
The training of the GSFP caterers held in 2019 was funded by the WFP with technical support from the Women In Agricultural Development (WIAD), Partnership for Child Development (PCD) and AUDA-NEPAD.
It was aimed at empowering the caterers and the cooks on school meal preparation, the use the GSFP handy measures, texturized soy protein (TSP) and the daily records form to record daily cooking activities.
Briefing the media at Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, Director for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for GSFP, Mrs. Akyere Manu-Frimpong said that the monitoring tour is to get first-hand information on the impact of the practical training.
She indicated that it is also to assess the development, use and provision of the district menus for the preparation of GSFP meals; monitor personal hygiene of caterers; assess the impact of COVID-19 on school attendance and to also assess the use of the Texturized Soy Protein (TSP) among others.
According to Mrs. Manu-Frimpong, the national monitoring which started on 13th June, 2021 would end on 20th June, 2021. She noted that the exercise is being supported by all the key collaborative Ministries such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; as well as the GSFP Regional Coordinators, District Desk Officers, District Nutrition Officers etc.
The Director –M&E, disclosed that at the end of the weeklong monitoring, it is expected that the caterers, the districts and the regions that benefited from the 2019 nutrition training would have their district Menu tables developed using the school meal planner.
Meanwhile, the Ghana School Feeding Programme currently provides daily hot meal to over 3.4 million pupils from over 10,000 deprived schools in all the 260 districts of Ghana.
It was introduced in 2005 to improve nutrition of pupils, increase school enrolment, attendance and retention.