Decision on egg or milk left to Cabinet

Basavaraj Horatti  

Special Correspondent

Derecognition of schools also on the agenda

Bangalore: Primary and Secondary Education Minister Basavaraj S. Horatti has sent a note to the Cabinet on two issues concerning his department that have led to fiery debates in the recent past: giving eggs to children as part of the midday meal scheme and derecognition of schools being run in violation of the State's language policy. The Cabinet, he said, would take a final decision on the contentious issues in the next meeting.

Speaking to The Hindu , the Minister explained how the present budgetary allocation did not permit distributing milk to children in place of eggs as demanded by some religious heads. It will cost about Rs. 4.25 crore a month to give eggs to all children covered under the midday meal scheme in Karnataka. But supplying milk will cost a whopping Rs. 12.5 crore a month.

"The Cabinet should decide how we are going to bear that huge extra cost," said the Minister.

On the Government Order on derecognising 2,000-odd schools for flouting the State's language policy and conducting classes in English medium clandestinely, Mr. Horatti said he was "personally committed" to the decision. "I cannot be faulted for enforcing an existing law," he said.

He scotched rumours that the Government was contemplating allowing these schools to continue after making a fresh commitment to teach only in Kannada medium. "But the Cabinet is supreme," he added. "It is finally not an individual Minister's decision."

Asked if the Government was contemplating a year's reprieve to the schools, he said: "A decision will be taken in the interest of parents and children."

As the matter stands today, all these derecognised schools will close down by the end of this academic year, he said.