Lakhs of children had to go hungry in schools across Bihar for the second day on Friday, as teachers continued their boycott of the mid-day meal programme insisting it was not their job.
Despite the Centre’s diktat, their stand was bolstered by Thursday’s order from the Allahabad high court, which said teachers cannot be forced to supervise the cooking of mid-day meals since it was not academic work. Left in the lurch were the primary school children, for some of whom, the food at the school was the one square meal of the day.
The principal secretary, education, insisted that the impact has been “partial, with barely 20% schools affected”. But the Bihar Primary School Teachers’ Association, which has given the boycott call, said food had not been served in almost 95% schools.
“I, too, agree that teachers should concentrate on teaching. But till an alternative arrangement is made, we cannot stop the (mid-day meal) programme,” said CM Nitish Kumar.