In Jalandhar, online system to monitor midday meal in the limbo

  • Neha Arora, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Nov 13, 2014 19:18 IST

The online system to monitor midday meal in Jalandhar continues to be in the limbo as the district education officials are confused over how to upload data.

The newly introduced system of updating daily attendance and status of midday meal served to students through short message service (SMS) to the district administration was to start in Jalandhar a few months back.

After several complaints were received about food being served late, the district administration and education department had decided to use software developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to monitor the midday meal delivery and increase transparency in attendance.

The software to keep tabs on the meal needed generation of portal accounts for which the department officials are yet to collect data.

Midday meal manager Rattan Lal said their Chandigarh head office has asked them to generate constituency-wise data of schools in the district the department has block-level data of the schools.

“We have block-wise data of schools but the head office has asked us to create accounts as per constituency wise. We are holding a meeting to discuss the matter,” he added.

“It takes time to prepare data on district, block and school level and then prepare codes for different schools,” he further said.

With the help of the software, the schoolteachers tasked with the job will send an SMS on daily basis informing the officials that they have received mid-day meal on the school premises.

“The software will automatically compile details of schools and the message receipt time.
This will provide us information about food delivery and names of schools which did not receive meal,” he said.

It will help them figure out which schools get the meal late.

Meanwhile, teachers in other districts are opposing the system of updating daily attendance and status of
midday meal served to students through SMS to the district administration.

Also, those managing midday meal at schools have to send an SMS daily informing about the number of students present and whether food was served to them or not.

However, collecting data will be difficult as many teachers, especially the ones in rural areas, do not know how to send an SMS. The issue of mobile network at some schools is yet another area of concern.

“Some teachers on the verge of retirement do not even know how to send an SMS. Also, if a teacher forgets mobile phone at home or loses it, he or she will be marked absent for the day,” a teacher maintained.

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