Midday meal gets new menu
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to revise the Midday meal guidelines.education Updated: May 16, 2006 12:49 IST
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to revise the Midday meal guidelines. The new guidelines, which will benefit 47 per cent undernourished children in the country, will be effective from June 15.
It has been made mandatory for schools to serve food with a calorific content of 300 units. “We want to ensure that children enjoy their meals at school. One way of ensuring this is to add the local flavour to the meal,” an official explained.
To get the right mix of adequate nutrition and the local flavour, the new guidelines make it mandatory for schools to work out the menu with the help of experts.
The ministry has enlisted home science teachers, Integrated Child Development Scheme consultants and mothers for the job. The quality of the food served will be double-checked through feedback from parents and the supervising officer every day.
The role of education officers has been minimised and instead, a panchayat-level committee, with mothers as members, will monitor the scheme. To check allegations of misappropriation of food — display of the menu, the number of children getting food, money spent per day and cooks engaged, have been made mandatory for each of the 10 lakh schools covered under the scheme.
The midday scheme will now be open to external evaluation.