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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ghana: Blows Over School Feeding

Alfred Vanderpuije

Alfred Vanderpuije

VIOLENCE ERUPTED at the Ayeduase RC Primary School in Kumasi yesterday when a supposed National Democratic Congress (NDC) sympathizer attempted to take over the cooking of meals for some school children, under the School Feeding Programme.

The NDC guru, Amina, regretted trying to take over the supply of food to the innocent children from Madam Rita Bruce, as the bowls of gari and beans, popularly called ‘yoo ke gari’ that she had prepared were vandalized by a group of irate youth of the town.

Reports of attempts by NDC loyalist-turned cooks, to forcibly seize the school feeding programme from original caterers were rampant throughout the Ashanti region on Tuesday when schools reopened from vacation.

Madam Bruce has been providing chow for the 1700 school children of Ayeduase and Kotei RC Primaries since the inception of the pilot programme by the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) government in 2007.

The drama started in the morning when Madam Bruce, as usual, stormed the school premises with her cooking utensils, ostensibly to prepare food for the children as she did last term since she had not received any letter from authorities terminating her contract.

Whilst busily cooking, Amina reportedly stormed the school compound with her cooking utensils and food stuffs, also with the sole aim of preparing food for the children.

This awkward development, as expected, suddenly created tension in the school, with scores of people from the vicinity converging to witness what looked like a tug-of-war for the school feeding programme.

At this juncture, the irate youth of the town, who got irritated by Amina’s actions, amid chants of war songs, besieged the school compound and booted away her huge cooking utensils.

Madam Bruce subsequently served the children with the jollof rice that she had prepared for the children without further trouble as a dejected-looking Amina packed her utensils and left the scene.
A similar incident nearly cropped up at Dompoase Primary A, B, and KG, with the student population of 1200 when three separate caterers stormed the school compound to take over the provision of foods from the original caterer, Madam Abena Animfa.

Speaking in a chat with DAILY GUIDE, Madam Animfa said there were rumours the previous day that some NDC faithfuls had been ordered to take over the programme from her.

But since she had not officially received any letter from any official terminating her contract, she said she went to the school when school reopened.

Immediately after serving the children with the rice and beans (waakye) that she had prepared, three women also came in turns with different prepared meals including rice, gari and beans to serve the children.

For peace to prevail and to allow the innocent and young children to have their peace to study, she noted that she quietly left the scene to avoid a confrontation.

Madam Animfa stated that she would continue to serve delicious meals to the school children since no authority has terminated her contract.

Meanwhile, DAILY GUIDE gathered that a Kumasi-based legal practitioner, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, has secured a high court injunction on the School Feeding Programme.

The court order, reports indicate, forbids the Ashanti Regional Minister, KMA Boss, DCE’s and Coordinators of the programme in the region from replacing the original caterers with their favourites without due process.

Source: dailyguideghana

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