Supplier not management to blame for food shortage at Port Kaituma dorm

—Ministry of Education

The reported food shortage at the Port Kaituma Secondary School dormitory was caused by failure on the part of the supplier to deliver on time.

This is according to the Ministry of Education (MoE) which, in a statement issued yesterday, said the issue has been rectified.

The statement comes a week after this newspaper reported the concerns of residents over the food shortage, which left contracted cooks at the dormitory unsure of what they would prepare for the more than 50 students housed there.

It was related that cooks were forced to make do with six loaves of bread and a small quantity of rice to prepare meals for both breakfast and lunch for the students.

Persons who are au fait with the operations of the dorm, told this newspaper that the issue has been a longstanding one which they believe results from the gross mismanagement of the food supplies by a specific staff member.

This newspaper was told that monies are spent to acquire food supplies on a monthly basis from a Mabaruma supplier, however, it was alleged that the list of groceries which is usually prepared is often times reduced to less than what is sufficient.  In addition to this, there are complaints that cooks are forced to make do with less than acceptable cooking utensils.

Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley, when contacted last week, had told Stabroek News that he had received the report late Monday evening, and noted that millions are paid for the provision of dietary supplies at all regional dormitories. However, he suggested that it was the inability of the supplier to deliver on time which caused the food shortage.

This suggestion was substantiated by the Ministry yesterday, as the entity in its statement, noted that an investigation was launched by the Department of Education, Region One, which found that there was a limited supply of necessary items for the dormitory for the remainder of November.

The investigation revealed that the food shortage issue came about because a supplier was unable to supply the food items within the agreed timeline. That supplier was contacted and the food supplies were subsequently provided to the school.

“Regarding the allegations of mismanagement by a specific staff member, the investigation found that this is misleading and untruthful,” the statement added.

Further, MoE assured that there is no food shortage at any school or school dormitory at this time, but that they continue to monitor the situation.

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