Scrap buffer stock system – CHASS

The Conference of Heads of Assisted Secondary Schools (CHASS) has described the role of the National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO) in the supply of food to schools as problematic in the smooth implementation of the free senior high school (SHS) policy.
It has, therefore, recommended that the “buffer stock system, considering all the attendant problems associated with its role in the supply of food to schools must be scrapped immediately and the free SHS Secretariat should re-channel those funds directly to the schools to perform those roles.”

That, CHASS said, would reduce the extra stress of heads struggling to even appeal to suppliers to supply food on behalf of the NAFCO, looking for non-existent funds to travel over long distances to cart food to schools, dealing with under-supplies and underweight supplies, over invoicing and even intimidation by some suppliers.


Food items

“Mention must be made of the fact that there are times some schools are denied their food items when the heads insist on the right thing,” a communique issued by CHASS at the end of its 60th annual conference/anniversary held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, said.

It said members of CHASS, recognising the huge responsibilities and commitments associated with the implementation of the free SHS policy, did acknowledge and affirm the diverse roles the government had played and continued to play in ensuring the success of the policy.

In the current arrangement where emergency food supplies is now the order of the day, it said the quantities of emergency items should always be made available to heads.

“Buffer stock should desist with immediate effect from requesting schools to travel various distances for food items. It is having a serious toll on our already meagre resources. Some schools don’t even have vehicles to go and cart these items. Same for even some bulk supplies,” the communique said.

“We acknowledge the huge and unprecedented budgetary allocation of government towards the implementation of the free SHS policy and education in general.

We acknowledge and appreciate the procurement of vehicles (buses and pickups) to schools.


“We acknowledge the numerous infrastructures put up, the establishment of the many STEM schools across the country,” it said.

Appreciation

The communique said the heads appreciated and acknowledged that the GES and the Ministry of Education had paid heed to some of the issues captured in the communique of its 59th annual conference held in Bolgatanga in 2021 and other previous communiques that touched on the provision of textbooks for elective subjects, curtailing the intimidation and undue interdiction of heads over otherwise trivial matters.

“We indeed acknowledge and appreciate the improved cordial relationship between CHASS and its superior, the GES management and the Ministry of Education, in recent times.


“CHASS acknowledges and affirms the sacrifices made by heads of SHSs and the staff, both teaching and non-teaching, for their dedicated roles in the course of the year and without whose efforts, help and support the system could not have run smoothly,” it said.

Moreover, it acknowledged the efforts and enormous support of some parent-teacher-associations, old students, organisations, individuals and other stakeholders for their wonderful support to schools in those trying times of the country’s educational history.

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