February 9, 2009 2:16:05 am
Within two months of introducing the mid-day meal scheme in government-aided primary and junior high schools,the project has already come under scanner.
The scheme was launched with an aim to provide nutritious meal to the students in aided institutions on the lines of government schools.
But the Basic Education department has received several complaints that aided schools in Lucknow,despite being paid by the government,were not serving the meal to the students.
As a result,the department has decided to ask NGOs to cook and distribute mid-day meals. Five NGOs have been selected to prepare the meals in 29 aided primary and junior high schools in the state capital. Though the aided schools are run by private players,the government pays the salary of the teachers in the form of an aid.
The scheme was introduced in primary and junior high schools two months ago. But according to reports,the schools did not execute the task responsibly, said Pankaj Gupta,Nagar Shiksha Adhikari. The idea behind hiring NGOs was that this way,the benefit of the scheme will actually reach the students,he added.
The department has already signed agreements with the five NGOs for the next one year. According to officials,the agreement period could be extended based on the performance of the NGOs. These NGOs also serve meals in government schools.
As per the agreement,the government will pay Rs 2.50 per student in primary classes and Rs 3 for each student in junior high school. Over 4,500 students will benefit under this scheme,said an official.
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