JAGATSINGHPUR: Manipulation of students’ attendance and misappropriation of funds have adversely affected the implementation of mid-day meal (MDM) in several schools across the district. The efforts of the State Government to check irregularities in the scheme’s execution have failed to yield desired results.
As per reports, the Government had launched a mobile App and SMS-based application to check loopholes and ensure proper distribution of noon meals in schools.
The teachers had to provide information on distribution of MDM, daily attendance of students, funds and food stock in each school besides leave status. But teachers are allegedly sending wrong information on mid-day meal supply by manipulating students’ attendance. On Wednesday, teachers of Siddheswar Upper Primary School in Raghunathpur did not provide noon meal to students due to low attendance on the occasion of Samba Dasami but had sent an SMS stating that they supplied MDM to 65 students.
Meanwhile, four headmistress have been suspended and salaries of around 150 teachers stopped for supplying fake information on MDM distribution in the district. They are Alok Rashmi Mohanty of Tirtol Primary School and Ritarani Rout of Arada Primary School.Earlier, a headmistress of Brundaban Chandra Nodal Vidyalaya of Raghunathpur block and A Ruxuna Sadamul was suspended for manipulation of student figures under MDM.
Block Education Officer of Raghunathpur Rajashree Sahoo said the department has received allegations regarding supply of false information on students’ attendance in MDM supply. After an inquiry, Headmaster of Siddheswar Upper Primary School Adwait Prasad Bastia was suspended, she added.
A Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator (CRCC), on condition of anonymity, said, “Hundreds of teachers are sending false and fabricated information on MDM through SMS for adjustment of funds due to rise in egg price. While the State Government is providing meagre amount of `4.50 per egg for MDM, its market price is `5.50 to `6.”Parents of students enrolled in such schools have sought the intervention of senior officials of the School and Mass Education department to check large-scale irregularities pertaining to the scheme in the district.