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With education taking a hit, several schools skip the meals

Published: 05th August 2013 09:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th August 2013 09:48 AM   |  A+A-

Like Sundargarh, here too teachers are unwilling to take charge of the noon meal scheme. They want a private organisation working in the field to be assigned the responsibility.

Problems in implementation of the scheme apart, they said their involvement in management of mid-day meals hampers education. In fact, 115-year-old BB High School and SD Government High School have not implemented noon meals till now due to this reason.

According to reports, 1.14 lakh children are studying in 1,727 primary and ME schools in eight blocks of the district. Government allocates `3.61 for each primary school student and `5.39 for ME school student.

The funds allocated, however, are grossly inadequate, school teachers alleged. As a result,  poor quality food is served to children as noon meals. The fact has been corroborated by members of child welfare committee (CWC) which visited some schools under Municipality areas recently.

Sans monitoring of the scheme, mid-meals have been stopped for the last 18 days in 60 schools under Kamakshyanagar block despite availability of rice which now gathers dust in the godown.

Similarly, two special schools Jiban Jyoti Residential School for mentally retarded and students with cerebral palsy and Akshyam Kalyan Samiti for blind and deaf children are also not providing mid-day meals.

Both the schools have 290 students. School authorities said Government used to cover these schools under MDM when the schools were under Women and Child Welfare Department and even after School & Mass Education Department took over. Last year, these schools were brought under the MDM fold. But it was discontinued after the rice supplier was not paid for several months.

District Nodal Officer of MDM Dhananjaya Mohapatra said he was unaware of the development as he joined recently. He said rice will be sent to the two special schools and 60 schools under Kamakshyanagar block soon.

Lack of kitchens is another issue that MDM cooks have to deal with. Sources said Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan had allotted `60,000 for construction of kitchen-sum-store rooms in each of 1,546 schools.

“But construction of kitchen-cum-store rooms in 59 schools is still on. Other schools have kitchens, but cooks of many schools are not using them and cook in open for their convenience,” said SSA official Suvendu Baral.

Collector Bishnu Prasad Panda said the district administration is working towards streamlining the scheme.

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■ According to reports, 1.14 lakh children are studying in 1,727 primary and ME schools in eight blocks of the district. Government allocates `3.61 for each primary school student and `5.39 for ME school student

■ Sans monitoring of the scheme, mid-meals have been stopped for the last 18 days in 60 schools under Kamakshyanagar block despite availability of rice which now gathers dust in the godown

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