Prof. Amfo Commissions Canteen Facility for UBS

Pupils of the University Basic School (UBS) can now go for break, immersed in dining atmosphere. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, on July 19, 2022, commissioned a 500-seater multipurpose facility to serve as a canteen for UBS to facilitate healthy food choices to abate health-related problems associated with eating in an unhygienic environment.

The facility, which cost an amount of one million, one hundred and fourteen thousand, four hundred and ninety-nine cedis and ten pesewas (GHC1, 114,449.10) was fully funded by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of the School. The facility includes a kitchen with cooking area, a pantry, a matron’s office, changing rooms for staff, three storage spaces, washrooms on the ground floor and on the first floor, control room and an upper terrace to be used by teacher’s during assembly.

Prof. Amfo, in commissioning the building expressed pleasure to be back to commission the canteen project as the idea was birthed during her tenure as the 2015/2016 Chairperson of the governing board of UBS. Noting that the University Basic school is not only committed to intellectually equipping pupils to take up global leadership roles, but it is equally concerned about providing the right nutrition for its growing children, Prof. Amfo applauded all whose efforts culminated in the realisation of the vision.

Prof. Amfo was grateful to the past PTA Chairpersons, Mrs. Perpetual Osei Bonsu and Reverend Acheampong Boakye Yiadom, and the current PTA Chairman, Mr. Ishmael Edjekumhene and his executives for their resilience, providing administrative support and having oversight responsibility of the construction and completion of the project. Prof. Amfo noted that the canteen comes to curtail the numerous visits to the night market, exposing the children to the ravages of the weather and other associated risks of moving outside the premises of the school. “It will also save pupils from health-related problems which arise from eating contaminated meals”, she added.  She urged the management team to make good of the facility and adhere to the highest level of professionalism in managing the canteen. “Endeavour to maintain high standards of hygiene protocols, and good maintenance culture”, she added.

Prof. Amfo assured the pupils, parents and teachers of nutritious meals and snacks prepared under hygienic conditions, served on time and in a conducive environment.

Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo

Mr. Ishmael Edjekumhene, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to all members of the PTA for embracing the idea of providing their wards with a more hygienic and controlled environment to have their meals. He appreciated them for aggressively pursuing the idea till its completion. “I know it wasn’t easy, but you faithfully accepted to pay the additional levy, which made it possible for the project to happen. You’ve done a yeoman’s job that deserves commendation, and you should be proud of this great achievement”, he stated.

Mr. Edjekumhene noted that the project was awarded through a competitive tendering process led by the Physical Development and Municipal Services Directorate (PDMSD) to a successful bidder, Dymaks Construction Limited. “Originally designed as a 250-seater canteen, the design was later changed to a 500-seater multipurpose auditorium complex so as to maximize its utility”, he added.

Mr. Edjekumhene further thanked management of the University of Ghana for allocating land for the project.

Mr. Alfred Codjoe Allotey, Headmaster, UBS, expressed excitement to witness a dream that seemed farfetched. Noting that it has been the dream of the School to facilitate healthy food choices and develop healthy eating habits, he mentioned that the project is an intervention that will change the eating environment. 

Mr. Allotey thanked and appreciated all those involved in meeting the project’s completion. On behalf of the School, Mr. Allotey promised that food supply and actions to improve nutrition of the children will be a priority. He added that compliance to school canteen guidelines and information on menu to be served will be put in place to guide homes in their food choices.

The Headmaster also noted that there will be periodic training programmes of the canteen staff, which will constitute a strategy that will guarantee the viability of the project and promote good health. He was hopeful that UBS will try to conform to all operations to ensure that there is a reduction in food waste. 

Emphasising that safety levels in the food services are an important concern to the School, Mr. Allotey noted that their food professionals and all food handlers would be made aware of the importance of their actions.

Dr. Samuel Kojo Kwofie, who delivered brief remarks on behalf the Board Chair, Dr. Gloria Ansa, Principal Medical Officer, extended a warm appreciation to all contributors of the project. He noted his excitement about the edifice and the purpose it will achieve. Dr. Kwofie urged management of the School to maintain the facility, so it serves a lasting purpose.

Mr. Charles Kofinti, Director, PDMSD, in brief remarks declared his excitement about the completion of the project. He was happy to have witnessed the beginning and completion of the project. Stating that the project serves as a great achievement to the School, Mr. Kofinti commended the governing board for their support and expressed gratitude to all who contributed to the realisation of the idea. Mr. Kofinti gladly expressed how the pupils can now eat under hygienic conditions, alleviating the dangers associated with eating in an unhygienic environment.

Noting that the project was practically completed in 2020 except for delays in the completion of external works due to variations, Mr. Kofinti expressed some of the challenges faced during the construction process. “There were financial challenges on the part of the contractor. For example, there was a shortage of the floor tiles causing a holdup due to difficulty in getting the same type”, he stated.

Mr. Kofinti noted the great quality of the project and appreciated the contractor for a good job done. “Generally, performance in terms of quality of construction and finishing has been good. Except for the delays, the contractor, DEMYKS Construction Ltd. has performed creditably. Kudos to the PDMSD Project Team as well as Architect Kwame Ofori, QS Kingsley Adjei, Clerk of Works, Kwaako”, he stated.

Mr. Kofinti added that a Car park has been budgeted for implementation this year with a projected estimate of approximately GHC500,000.

Present at the event were Mrs. Margaret Kaba, Municipal District Director of Education; Mrs. Emelia Agyei-Mensah, Registrar; Dr. Jemima Anderson, Director, UG-PADA and former Board Chair, UBS; Mrs. Elizier T. Ameyaw-Buronyah, Director, Public Affairs Directorate; Mrs. Christina Armah, Deputy Head, (JHS), UBS. 

Also present were Mrs. Eunice Mensah, Deputy Head, Primary, UBS; past and present Board Chairpersons, Management Board Members, members of the University Community, staff, alumni, parents and some pupils.