Mid-day meal scheme restructured; milk only once a week

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Representational image | Photo: AFP

Thiruvananthapuram: The mid-day meal scheme in the state has been temporarily reorganised following strong opposition from teachers and other concerned unions. The teachers are struggling to meet the expenses of buying the food items due to price hike. Due to this, the General Education Department has decided that eggs and milk should be provided once a week until the schools resume normal functioning.

At present, milk (150 ml) is given twice a week and eggs once a week as supplementary nutrition. The children who do not consume eggs are provided banana. The teachers' organizations have informed the government that they cannot provide lunch and supplementary items with the fund allocated by the government for the mid-day meal programme.

They also demanded to increase the fund for the scheme and to temporarily halt the supply of milk and eggs until the schools are fully operational. The Principal Secretary of the Department has asked the Director of General Education Department to look into these matters.

At present, Rs 8 per head is provided to the schools with upto 150 students, Rs 7 to the schools with 151 to 500 students, Rs 6 to the schools with more than 500 students. Many schools are yet to submit previous months' bills since they could not afford lunch within the stipulated rate.

If children enrolled in the mid-day meal scheme do not attend school, they should also be given the rice they are entitled to in the form of a food security allowance. This rule also causes a major headache for the teachers in the current scenario.

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