It's a good news for government schools as they will get reimbursement for the additional LPG cylinders used for cooking midday meal.
Earlier, the government schools were paying for the additional cylinders from their own pocket. Also, the government schools will get nine cylinders instead of six in a year for cooking midday meal.
Talking to Hindustan Times, director general, school education, Punjab, Kahan Singh Pannu, said, “We know that government schools are finding it difficult to buy LPG cylinders at double rate. So the state government has decided to reimburse the cost of the additional LPG cylinders. The cooking cost of midday meal in upper primary and primary government schools has also gone up. The school authorities were getting Rs 4.65 per child for the upper primary section (class 6 to 8), while Rs 3.11 per child for the primary section (class 1 to 5). Now, they will get Rs 5 per child for upper primary schools and Rs 3.34 for primary schools.”
The increase in cooking cost will be applicable from July 1, 2013, Pannu said. The increase in cooking cost will help to increase enrolment retention and to hone the learning abilities of beneficiaries, especially children belonging to the poor and downtrodden sections of the society.
Under the midday meal scheme, around 22.23 lakh students are covered in Punjab, out of which, 1.79 lakh are served midday meal in Ludhiana district.
One of the government school principals, who wished not to be named, said, “Government schools need at least 3-4 cylinders to cook midday meal for 150 students in one month. Nine cylinders are not enough. If the state government reimburses for the additional cylinders, it will bring a big relief to the government schools.”