Karnal, March 16
Government schools in the district have not received money for mid-day meals for the past three months, forcing teachers to spend either from their own pocket or buy ration on credit to feed the children under the scheme. Besides, cooks are also waiting for their salaries for the past five to six months and this has led to resentment among them.
“We have not received funds after November for providing mid-day meals to the students in the school. The food is being prepared for the children by taking ration on credit from shopkeepers or by spending from our own pocket,” said a teacher of a government senior secondary school in Nilokheri block.
Buying ration on credit
We have not received funds after November for providing mid-day meals to the students in the school. The food is being prepared for the children by taking ration on credit from shopkeepers or by spending from our own pocket. —Teacher, govt senior secondary school, Nilokheri block
Reminder sent already
A reminder has been sent to release the budget. We will distribute the funds as soon as we receive these. —Baljeet Punia, Elementary education officer
Deepak Goswai, member, District Mid-day Meal Monitoring Committee, and former state general secretary Rajkiya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, Haryana, said it was not just a matter of one or two schools, but the situation was similar at all government-run schools. Every time, the state government sends the budget very
late. “I demand the government to ensure an advance budget for the scheme,” said Goswami.
There are 778 schools where mid-day meals are served to around 95,000 students. The material cost budget had been released till November and the salaries of cooks had been released till September, he said.
A sum of Rs 5.45 is given to each student for classes I to V, while Rs 8.17 is paid for students of classes VI to VIII. The salary of a cook is Rs 7,000 and there are 1,853 cooks in the district.
The Education Department has attributed the delay in payment to the non-release of funds.
Baljeet Punia, District Elementary Education Officer (DEEO), said they had not received the funds so far. “A reminder has been sent to release the budget. We will distribute it as soon as we receive it,” said the District Elementary Education Officer.
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