The Ministry of Education of Bihar has instructed the heads or principals of all government and government-supported primary schools to sit with the students and have lunch with them. This measure has been taken to ensure that children receive nutritious food.
According to a leading news agency, Sanjay Kumar, additional chief secretary of the state’s education department said that since the practice of providing midday meals in schools was reintroduced on Feb. 28, necessary steps have been taken to ensure constant monitoring of the to guarantee the meals delivered to the students. He indicated that the chairman, secretary and other members of the school education committee, along with the guardians of children, would sit with their children and take turns eating with them.
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In addition, when the district official or an official authorized on his behalf visits the school to inspect the midday meal, he sits with the children and shares the food with them. This will undoubtedly increase children’s and parents’ confidence in the quality of food served in schools.
The education department had previously asked school boards to sample the meal at least half an hour before it is served to students. In addition, during a meeting of the concerned officials with the Chief Secretary, the need for regular checks on midday meals was emphasized.
For those who don’t know, the midday meal is funded by the central government and provides hot prepared food on all weekdays to all students in grades 1 through 8.
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Meanwhile, the Karnataka government introduced eggs in the afternoon meals of school children in December last year. The step has been taken to tackle malnutrition and anemia in children. However, the move was opposed by some religious groups and communities who claimed it could harm religious feelings among vegetarians. Despite the opposition, the state government is now seeking to extend its initiative to seven more districts of North Karnataka, where children have been found to be malnourished and anemic, according to the National Family Health Survey.
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