Encouraged by the increase in the attendance of students in schools in the wake of the launch of the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme, the State government has decided to expanded it to cover all the 30,122 government primary schools in the State from the upcoming academic year, announced Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan during the Budget for 2023-24, presented in the Assembly on Monday, March 20, 2023.
The total allocation for the scheme in the Budget is ₹500 crore and it will benefit 18 lakh students studying from Classes I to V.
Mr. Rajan said Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had launched the landmark scheme “of this Dravidian Model Government” on September 15, on the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai to overcome “stunted growth and malnutrition” among children in government schools.
He said the scheme was being expanded to translate the noble vision of the Chief Minister that “we will make any sacrifice to ensure that no child remains hungry while learning and to make learning joyful and education universal.”
Reeling out statistics, Mr. Rajan said out of the 1,543 elementary schools, where the scheme was implemented in the first phase, the attendance of students had increased in 1,319 schools.
“The attendance has increased by 10 per cent in 624 schools, 20 per cent in 462 schools and 30 per cent in 193 schools. In Tirupattur, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Tiruvarur districts, attendance of students has increased in all the schools where the Breakfast Scheme was implemented,” he said.
The Finance Minister also announced a start-up mission for women to address difficulties faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing adequate, timely credit and marketing of products.