“Gov’t spent over GH¢3.6M on the provision of free hot meals to BECE candidates” – Corruption allegations raised

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"Gov't spent over GH¢3.6M on the provision of free hot meals to BECE candidates" – Corruption allegations raised

The provision of free hot meals by the government to public and private candidates of the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) costs the nation over GH¢3.6 million.

This was revealed by President Akufo-Addo who said the cost of feeding these extra 52,295 candidates was GH¢3,660,650.00. 

It is recalled that on Sunday, August 16, 2020, President Akufo-Addo announced the distribution of free hot meals to BECE candidates and their teachers for 20 days during his 15th COVID-19 update address to the nation.

He said: “As a result of reports I have received that some final year JHS [Junior High School] students are going hungry in complying with COVID-19 protocols, I have instructed the Minister for Gender and Social Protection to begin preparation to ensure that as from 24th August up to 18th of September, all 584,000 final year JHS students and 146,000 staff both in public and private schools be given one hot meal a day. This is to ensure full adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.”

During the interview, she said the exercise would be easy as they have the data of the number of people to be served already.

“We have the register of the students and so we have the accurate number of students that we are going to cater for. We also have the accurate number of teachers that we are going to cater for so it makes it easier than the first time we did the food allocation. Both private and public school children writing the BECE are going to benefit and it is the same school feeding caterers who are going to cater for the pupils,” she said.

Meanwhile, on August 24, 2020, the first day of the distribution of the hot meal, during an interview on Peace FM, the Gender Minister was not able to state the total number of students to be served and the budget despite stating categorically on the 17th that they had records of the exact number of beneficiaries.

Similarly, the Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh on September 14, 2020, at 7: 25 made a post on his Facebook wall, the first paragraph read:

“This week, 531,674 candidates will be writing the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), the terminal examinations for Junior High Schools (JHS).”

WAEC, the institution in charge of the BECE, has meanwhile published the total number of pupils who registered as candidates for the 2020 BECE and the total number was 531,705.

This figure was backed by a regional breakdown and gender breakdown which totalled the 531,705 candidates.

1 Greater Accra 45,172 49,271 94,443
2 Eastern 25,749 24,244 49,993
3 Central 29,467 28,638 58,105
4 Western & Western North 28,059 26,373 54,432
5 Ashanti 54,025 52,832 106,857
6 Bono, Ahafo, & Bono East 25,800 23,925 49,725
7 Volta & Oti 20,015 18,177 38,192
8 Northern, North East & Savannah 23,375 20,125 43,500
9 Upper East 10,757 11,775 22,532
10 Upper West 7,000 6,926 13,926
GRAND TOTAL 269,419 262,286 531,705


Corruption allegations have been raised by the following Civil Society Organizations: Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Corruption Watch and Africa Education Watch.


Source: Corruption Watch, Ghana


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