The Union Education Ministry will hold talks with the Union Finance Ministry in connection with the sanction of the second instalment of the Central share for the midday meal scheme for 2021-22. The issue will be resolved with the support of the State Finance department, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said.
Kerala submitted a memorandum to Mr. Pradhan in New Delhi on Friday in connection with Centrally sponsored schemes. Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty, General Education Principal Secretary A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish, Director of General Education Jeevan Babu K., Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK) State project director Supriya A.R., and MPs Elamaram Kareem, John Brittas, and V. Sivadasan held discussions with Mr. Pradhan.
The Union Minister responded positively to the issues raised in the memorandum. He promised steps to increase Central assistance against the backdrop of the increase in students.
Mr. Pradhan said more talks would be needed to increase the Central share in connection with the honorarium of school midday meal cooks. The Education Ministry would write to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in connection with supply of best foodgrain for the midday meal scheme.
An increase in the number of Central scholarships in the State would be made proportionate to the population, he said.
Students who had taken admission to the Frontline Health Worker course in vocational higher secondary schools in the 2021 academic year would be considered a special case and talks had been held with the Union Health Ministry to ensure skill assessment and certification for them through the health sector council, Mr. Pradhan said.
Support would be given to implement vocational training in the State as a model within the National Skills Qualifications Framework.
Implementing the skill development centre of the higher secondary department at the block level on the lines of the hub-and-spoke model as part of the SSK would be considered. It would be implemented as part of the STARS (Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States) project.
The STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Mathematical-based instruction) project would be extended to all districts as part of STARS. STREAM intended to increase students’ aptitude for science and nurture young scientists is currently being implemented in 11 block resource centres (BRCs) in Alappuzha district. Mr. Pradhan sought a proposal to extent STREAM to all 168 BRCs in the State.
Discussions would be held on holding more talks with State agencies ahead of conducting the National Achievement Survey.