As over 10 lakh students continued to be deprived of mid-day meals due to primary school teachers boycotting food cooking duties for the third consecutive day on Saturday in Bihar, the government held “positive” talks with the agitators to end the logjam.
Free cooked food could not be served in about 5000 government schools in the state due to boycott as a result of which nearly 10 lakh students were deprived of the mid—day meal, sources in state’s education department said.
The government on Saturday held talks with representatives of primary teachers to end the boycott.
Though, there was no immediate result, the teachers’ representatives said they would hold their meeting on Monday and convey the decision to the government.
Brajnandan Sharma, Bihar Primary School Teachers Association President told PTI, “Talks were held in positive environment. We will put the government appeal to withdraw the boycott before the primary teachers at a meeting here on July 29 and accordingly convey the decision to the government.”
Director Primary Education, A.K. Chaudhary, who conducted talks on behalf of the government, said he told the teachers’ representatives that it was not possible to make alternative arrangements for efficient running of such a gigantic programme “overnight,” which he said they shared.
Mr. Chaudhary said he told the teachers to come out with a proposal in support of their demand, including keeping teachers away from cooking food for mid—day meal scheme, and the government would look into it.
Mid—day meal scheme is in operation in 70,000 schools across the state benefitting 1.30 crore children.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Friday shared the primary teachers concern that their primary task is teaching but said making alternative arrangements for such a large number of schools would need time.
Keywords: Bihar teachers, MDM, mid-day meals poisoning, Bihar school tragedy, midday meal deaths, Chapra district, Nitish Kumar government, organic phosphorus content, food poisoning, Mid Day Meal Scheme, universal primary education, food safety standards