Monitoring mechanisms will be strengthened and surprise visits conducted in schools

The Karnataka government has decided to step up measures to ensure that food given to school students is safe in the backdrop of the death of 23 children in Bihar after consuming contaminated midday meal.

Mohammed Mohsin, Commissioner for Public Instruction, said that monitoring mechanisms would be strengthened and surprise visits conducted regularly in government and government-aided schools in the State.

“Officials have been instructed to ensure that raw materials such as foodgrains, pulses and vegetables procured are of good quality.

If the officials feel that their quality is not good, they can refuse to procure raw materials and inform senior officials,” Mr Mohsin added.

The Commissioner also pointed out that circular on the guidelines about the midday meal would be issued to headmasters. Two teachers of the school were expected to taste the food before serving it to students, he added.

Mr. Mohsin said that teachers would be directed to ensure that storage facilities were adequate, especially during the monsoon season.

Water supply

“While there is no serious concern about the quality of the meals, the department will take steps to ensure that there is constant water supply in schools.”

A high-level meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramiah and attended by Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar as well as officials of the Health, Education and Women and Child Development departments, was held on Friday.

According to figures provided by the Department of Public Instruction, 61.40 lakh children in 55,113 government and government-aided schools are beneficiaries of the midday meal scheme in the State.

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