Srinagar, Nov 16: The Department of School Education and Literacy of Government of India (GoI) has said that the provision of hot cooked meals has a noteworthy effect on improving the regular attendance of school children—thereby substantially contributing towards reduction in drop-out rates.
The Secretary for Department of School Education and Literacy (GoI), Anita Karwal said this during an annual work plan and budget of erstwhile scheme Mid Day Meal (MDM) for 2022-23 for the UT administration of Jammu and Kashmir.
Karwal said, “Provision of hot cooked meals has a significant effect on school participation in terms of enhanced enrollment as well as improved regular attendance of children in schools thereby substantially contributing towards reduction in drop-out rates.”
According to the minutes of the meeting, she has mentioned that the union cabinet has approved the continuation of the scheme for the five-year period from 2021-22 to 2025-26 and also renamed it as Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN).
During the meeting she briefed about the new initiatives and emphasized that the interventions of school nutrition gardens, Tithi Bhojan and social audit are focus areas and are positioned as special nutritional interventions.
Highlighting the importance of monitoring, Karwal further stated that “It has been decided to involve students of eminent Universities and institutions and also trainee teachers of District Institutes of Education Training and Regional Institutes of Education for enhanced monitoring of implementation of the scheme at field level.”
She further emphasized upon the role of hot cooked meals in the schools in removing social barriers as children from various social backgrounds learn to sit together and share a common meal.
It was further highlighted that “The gender gap in school participation trends to narrow, as the scheme helps erode the barriers that prevent girls from going to school.”