School heads and teachers of government schools in Punjab will have to contribute to the mid-day meal scheme on their birthdays, anniversaries, retirements or other special occasions.
The recent directions to this effect by director general school education (DGSE) Pradeep Aggarwal have raised brows.
According to the directions, school heads and teachers can provide eatables or deposit money into the bank accounts of the school management committees. The school heads have to maintain a record of the money deposited into the accounts. The example will encourage villagers, NRIs and the alumni to contribute, the orders say.
To run the scheme in an effective manner, the school heads have been asked to give their suggestions and send them to the head office by next week.
The DGSE directions say it has been noticed that NGOs and donors have been contributing to the scheme in government schools that needs to be appreciated. To increase the nutritional value among children, schools can provide fruit, milk, eggs and biscuits.
A school principal, on condition of anonymity, says, “We have to follow the directions of the DGSE, but our salaries get delayed by months. Every month, we get insufficient funds for the scheme from the head office and have been running it with contribution from teachers. The funds in all government schools are low and schools at times have to stop serving meals.” DGSE Pradeep Aggarwal said, “We are facing no problems in running the scheme.