TIRUCHY: We are told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. But what if your parents can’t afford to provide it? In these Tiruchy schools, that’s where teachers have stepped in. At least 12 Tiruchy schools — corporation-run and government-aided — have been serving breakfast to students, some for a decade now.
In many schools, teachers pool their money to do so. Students who go without breakfast faint or struggle to concentrate in class, say teachers. The free midday meal provided by the State government is a big draw to many students, especially those whose parents are daily wage labourers. Free breakfast is an added incentive.
This week, the Corporation Higher Secondary School on East Boulevard Road became the latest to feed students breakfast. S Visali, a student at the school said her mother is the family’s sole breadwinner since her father died.
Her mother has to complete household chores before leaving home early for work as a daily wager with the Corporation. “I usually skip breakfast and attend morning classes on an empty stomach. Our headmaster and teachers pooled money for our breakfast and this is done on a regular basis,” Visali said.
Headmaster R Ramakrishnan explained, “After knowing that students come late to school, are less attentive and faint during prayers, we jotted down names of the students and started giving them breakfast free of cost. Students are now having a sumptuous and healthy meal twice a day at school.”
The adjacent Elementary school has been providing breakfast for some years now, also with money pooled by teachers.
From this academic year, the Corporation Urdu Elementary School on Jinnah Street too started providing breakfast to its 42 students, funded by the school’s headmistress while the Corporation High School at Senthaneerpuram has been following the teacher-funded model since 2010.
Meanwhile, at the aided Thennur Middle School, with 159 students, breakfast has been served to all since 2006. “All items needed to cook are in stock. Our correspondent K Karunakaran supports us,” said headmistress P Vimala.
The Sri Sathura Samkhara Murthy Swamikal Society provides free cooked breakfasts to some 460 students at four city schools. “We have been doing this since 2007. We have set a target of free breakfasts for 1,000 students in the near future,” society president K Sundaresan said.