PTAs, school managements to keep tabs on mid-day meal scheme
PANJIM: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said that the mid-day meal scheme would be overhauled from Diwali vacations onwards by introducing hygienic food and by making parents teachers associations (PTAs) and school managements the nodal bodies in supervising the food served to the students.
Parrikar, who is also the minister for education, said that the Goa State Education Development Corporation (GSEDC) would be a nodal agency to coordinate with various departments for proper implementation of this scheme.
The government is also
planning to appoint food inspectors, who would be visiting each and every school to inspect the quality of food served to the children on regular basis, Parrikar said. The decisions came following a spate of food poisoning cases in the state in last couple of days.
“Everything cannot be done overnight. When schools re-open after Diwali vacation, the change would be seen,” Parrikar told reporters.
Parrikar said that government cannot suspend mid-day meal scheme as it is implemented following Supreme Court directives.
“Suspension (of the scheme) is not a solution. We need to improve the infrastructure and provide better quality food,” he said adding the PTA and school management would be asked to supervise the self help groups, who serve mid-day meals to schools.
“We are roping in students from Home Science College, who would be appointed as food inspectors. They will visit each school and self help groups to inspect the quality of food and the condition of the place where it is cooked regularly,” Parrikar said.
Around 22 students from St Joseph High School, Usgao, fell ill on Friday after consuming the mid-day meal. The incident is the second such major incident, the first being reported, earlier this month in a Canacona school, where 80-odd students were affected.
Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have strongly criticized the government for failing to improve the conditions of mid-day meals.