M. Malleswara Rao
To be implemented for the additional classes from July 15
HYDERABAD: The mid-day meal scheme, now being implemented only for students of Classes I to V in government schools, is being extended to cover students up to Class X from this academic year.
C. B. S. Venkata Ramana, principal secretary, School Education, disclosed on Friday that the scheme would be implemented for the additional classes from July 15.
He said the meal scheme was originally introduced by the Union government to cover pupils of Classes I to V for 220 working days with an annual rice commitment of 1.7 lakh tonnes.
However, on a plea by the State government, the Centre extended the benefit to students of Classes VI, VII and VIII in government schools, though in only 739 identified economically backward blocks.
To avoid discrimination against students left out from the purview of this scheme, primarily aimed at improving the nutrition levels of schoolchildren, the State government resolved that the scheme should be further extended to cover all students up to Class X.
This will entail an additional rice commitment of 1.1 lakh tonnes annually.
The cooking cost that covers other items like sambar, has also been raised by Re. 1 per head a day.
With this, the cost in schools with less than 50 students works out to Rs. 3.50 a day per head, Rs. 3.25 for schools with 51 to 100 students and Rs. 3 for schools with 101 students and above.