PTwo deprived public basic schools in the Upper West Region have appealed to authorities to include them in the Ghana School Feeding Programme to boost enrolment and ensure retention in the institutions.
The schools include Dabilipuo D/A Primary School in the Wa East District and Bosuoyir M/A Primary School in the Wa municipality.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme was introduced in 2005, and has since progressively grown to serve over 1.6 million children in more than 4,000 public schools nationwide, but most underprivileged communities are still begging for inclusion in the national programme.
Mr Iddrisu Zakaria, the head teacher of Dabilipuo D/A Primary School, urged Wa East District Assembly to ensure the programme covered the school to boost enrolment and retention.
The community members have taken the initiative, through contribution of foodstuffs, to cook for the pupils three times a week.
Mr Zakaria told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that the school always record very low attendances, especially when the community did not prepare food.
“Attendance is always impressive when they cook for them, but the pupils tend to abandon lessons and return home after realising there is no sign of getting food to eat in school,” he added.
He said though the school was grappling with infrastructural challenges, their priority was for the Ghana School Feeding secretariat to include them in the Ghana School Feeding Programme.
According to the teachers, many children have abandoned the school for the adjoining community (Kpaglaghi) schools because of lack of the feeding programme.
He said the community has made several efforts to get the school included but there has not been any positive feedback from the district assembly.
Mr Charles Kijemore, a community member and teacher in Bosuoyir M/A Primary School in the Wa municipality, also appealed to the secretariat to include the school in the list of beneficiaries.
Many pupils usually return home during contact hours due to hunger, and he said this was badly affecting enrolment.
Members of the Bosuoyir community have equally taken steps by contributing maize and cash for ingredients to feed the pupils, but that could only take place thrice in a week.
However, Mr Kijemore said the community has stopped cooking since school reopened because they have run out of foodstuffs.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme is one of the social intervention programmes introduced to improve the standard of education in deprived communities in Ghana.