Noon meal scheme a burden for primary school head teachers in Kerala Private Primary Headmasters

Head teachers in aided primary schools are aggrieved over the lukewarm response from the government over their demand to hike the funds for the noon meal scheme.

According to functionaries of the Kerala Private Primary Headmasters’ Association, the government had fixed the expense per student in 2016. For schools with a student strength of 150, each one is allotted ₹8 a day for the noon meal scheme. For those with a strength of 500 students, it is ₹7. Schools with more than 500 students will get only ₹6 per student. This has not been revised since then.

Noon meal scheme a burden for primary school

Along with this, the students are supposed to be getting eggs and milk as well. Each student is supposed to get 300 ml of milk, the cost of which was ₹39 in 2016. Now, it costs ₹52, the headmasters said. Milk is being given twice a week. The price of egg was over ₹3 in 2016. Now, it is above ₹6. This too is given twice a week. The price of LPG refill per cylinder was ₹420 six years ago. Now it is around ₹1,110. The price of vegetables has also substantially gone up. Added to this is the transportation costs.

The association leaders pointed out that in a school with a student strength of 100, the head teachers are forced to spend around ₹1,300 a day from their own pockets to meet the expenses. In a month, it goes above ₹25,000. “The government has directed us to seek public funds to take forward the scheme. How is it practical to go to the people to run a government scheme?,” one of the headmasters said.

The association functionaries claimed that in other southern States such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Telangana, the respective social justice departments were making arrangements to provide the groceries, including milk and egg. The head teachers took out a protest march to the office of the Deputy Director of Education in Kozhikode on Saturday demanding that the allowance for noon meal scheme per student be hiked, special arrangement be made to provide egg and milk, and steps be taken to address the additional expenditure incurred by them.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/expense-for-noon-meal-scheme-a-burden-for-primary-school-head-teachers/article65791381.ece

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