Caterers participating in the School Feeding Programme have rejected the proposed GH¢1.20 increment put forth by Lariba Zuweira Abudu, the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection. The caterers argue that the increase is insufficient and unacceptable.
Since the reopening of schools, the caterers have withdrawn their services, citing the need for a higher daily amount per child and the settlement of outstanding arrears. Dorothy Ofori Sarpong, spokesperson for the caterers in the Ashanti Region, expressed disappointment with the Minister’s response to their concerns.
“We are still on strike despite the Minister’s statement. Her response did not meet our expectations. The arrears she claimed to have cleared, with the exception of the 2022 third term, are not accurate. There are arrears dating back to 2019, 2020, and 2021… So, if she claims that all arrears have been paid, it is not true,” said Ofori Sarpong.
Regarding the proposed GH¢1.20 increment, the caterers strongly disagree, asserting that it is inadequate to provide quality meals for the children. They are urging the Minister to revisit the matter and present a more favorable offer.
The leadership of the caterers under the School Feeding Programme in the Ashanti Region also expressed dissatisfaction with the Gender Minister’s approach in addressing their concerns. They are calling for the Minister to visit various districts to gain a firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by their members.
During the Meet the Press series on Sunday, Minister Lariba Zuweira Abudu assured the striking caterers that plans are underway to settle outstanding arrears for the third term of the 2022 academic year. However, it remains to be seen whether this assurance will be sufficient to resolve the ongoing dispute and reinstate the provision of meals under the School Feeding Programme.