Τhousands of elementary school pupils are left without free meal, due to “a bureaucratic problem” as the Greek Education Ministry claimed. Τhe meals for 185,000 pupils are suspended “until further notice.”
The principals of the school units included in the free-meal program were informed only on Friday, February 26, that there will be not meals in schools as of Monday, March 1, 2021.
According to the Ministry of Education, “a bureaucratic problem makes it impossible to distribute the meals.”
What is the bureaucratic problem? According to the Autonomous Network of Teachers, the Education Ministry did not sign the new contract for the free-meal project on time.
“The reason for the interruption in the delivery of school meals is the delay in the approval of the new project contract by the Court of Auditors, due to the fact that the Ministry of Education did not take care to initiate the necessary procedures to ensure the smooth continuation of the program,” the Network reportedly revealed.
As a result, it remains unknown when the meals distribution will be possible to start again.
The 1,227 school units, which participate in the feeding program, were informed completely unexpectedly for the meals suspension.
The Network highlights that the Education Ministry has failed also in other issues like the distribution of 90,000 tablets to students for online classes due to the several lockdowns imposed in the country, and vouchers for 560,000 pupils and students.
“It is a disgrace for the political leadership of the Ministry of Education to leave thousands of students without meals all over the country and thus in a particularly difficult socio-economic situation.”
The Network urges the Ministry to proceed with the distribution of at least “cold meals” for the pupils.
Physical presence in schools is suspended only in regional units and municipalities with high coronavirus infections per 100,000 population.
So 185 thousand children have to go without a meal because there isn’t a piece of paper with a rubber stamp on it and a signature on it.
That sums up the Greek bureaucracy perfectly.