Irregular Funding Affects School Feeding Programme
Irregular Funding Affects School Feeding Programme Website
Irregular funding for the School Feeding Programme is affecting the frequency of feeding in schools in some districts of the Northern Region. This was discovered during a monitoring exercise conducted by the SEND Foundation. Mr. Issahaku Ibrahim, Focal Person for the School for Life (SFL) an educational NGO, who disclosed this at an interface meeting organised by the SEND Foundation in collaboration with the Regional Economic Planning Unit (REPU), said the affected schools were in the Tamale Metropolis, Tolon/Kumbungu, Saboba, Bole and Gushiegu Districts. The meeting was used to discuss strategies to address the lapses in the programme and consolidate its gains. Mr. Ibrahim noted that, although the feeding programme had increased school enrolment and retention and also reduced absenteeism in schools, the irregular funding of the programme had hampered its progress. He mentioned for instance, that funds for schools in Yendi and Tolon/Kumbungu districts for the third term were disbursed in October 2007 even though the academic year started in September 2007. Mr. Ibrahim noted that funds disbursed for the feeding programme were still based on enrolment figures at the beginning of the programme and mentioned Nadundu primary in the Yendi District where funds were provided for two hundred pupils while the population of the school was over three hundred. He noted that another factor affecting the programme was inadequate information flow from the national level and said this had resulted in the transfer of funds without prior notice while in some cases funds were transferred into the district assembly common fund instead of the account of the school feeding programme. He was also worried that community involvement in the programme was very low and suggested that the communities be sensitised on the programme to know what it sought to achieve. Mr. Ibrahim said although the programme had the potential of providing employment within the local economy some kitchen staff in the schools had not been paid for about eight months and as a result some schools were using part of the funds to pay the allowances of the cooks. He therefore urged district assemblies to clarify the remuneration of the kitchen staff and take steps to regularise the situation to enhance the commitment of the staff.