Mid-day meals to be extended to out-of-school children in Haryana
Ritu Chowdhary, district project coordinator, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, said mid-day meals would be provided to school drop-outs and out-of-school children in line with the new directions.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 09:15 IST
The department of elementary education of the state has directed all the district elementary education officers to ensure that out-of-school children are enrolled in age-appropriate classes and that they are provided with mid-day meals just like regular students. Until now, mid-day meals were only being provided to students who are on the school’s roll. Out-of-school children are usually given special bridge classes before they can be formally enrolled into government schools.
A directive in this regard was shared with district elementary education officers last Friday.
Ritu Chowdhary, district project coordinator, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan, said mid-day meals would be provided to school drop-outs and out-of-school children in line with the new directions. “Children enrolled in schools used to receive mid-day meals in the form of cooked food earlier. In view of the spread of Covid-19, teachers have started delivering dry ration to children on the school’s roll. However, out-of-school were not being covered earlier. Now, the dry ration will be made available to these children as well,” said Chowdhary.
The district administration has been providing 3kg of rice and wheat, and dry milk, as dry ration, to enrolled students. The dry ration is delivered by teachers who visit their homes. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, children are also being provided with hand sanitisers, masks and soaps.
Gurugram’s block education officer Sudesh Raghav said that the department would start providing dry ration to out-of-school children once it receives the detailed guidelines regarding the dispersal of the same. “We have received the new directions recently. As per the new directions, classes will soon start for these out-of-school children. They’ll be enrolled and mid-day meals will be provided to them.While anyone can access online classes, regular classes for these children couldn’t take place due to the disruption caused by the pandemic,” said Raghav.
Special centres for out-of-school children have been created in the vicinity of government schools in various clusters. In Gurugram, some of these centres run in places such as Kadipur and Nathupur. “The government maintains a data of children who are enrolled in these classes. As per the records of the department, meals in the form of dry ration will be provided to them. Efforts are also being made to ensure that such children are able to access classes through the various mediums that are currently operational,” said Raghav.