Published: 28th June 2017
Mothers to be quality controllers in the Midday Meal Scheme
The government has now decided to give state-level training programmes for Self Help Groups to be organised in collaboration with Goa College of Home Science
The Goa government has decided to rope in mothers of students to taste and test the food served to their children under the Midday Meal scheme. According to the scheme's pro forma, which is put in the public domain by the State Education Department, it is mentioned that “instructions have been issued to all the heads of institutions to involve mothers of the students for tasting the meal before serving it to students."
In the past, a few schools had witnessed instances of food poisoning through this central government sponsored scheme aimed to control the drop-out of students at the primary level. According to the Education Department, there are no designated dining halls for schools due to which students have to sit in ‘verandahs’ and have their meals during school hours.
While this scheme is implemented in 1,501 schools across the state, the department has conceded that only seven schools have a proper arrangement for washing vegetables, pulses, grains and cleaning used utensils. The food is prepared either by Self Help Groups or Parent Teachers Associations in schools. The government has now decided to give state-level training programmes for Self Help Groups to be organised in collaboration with Goa College of Home Science.
“The cooks' cum helpers would be trained by the Institute of Hotel Management. Besides, all the school Headmasters/Headmistresses will be given one-day training regarding sensitisation of the Midday Meal by the State government,” the Department added. To ensure uniformity in the food that is served in the meal scheme, they prepared weekly menus which are displayed in schools across the state.
The department has said that calorific value (450 calories and 12 gram of Protein to every child at the primary level and 700 calories and 20 gram of protein to every child at upper primary level) is also being ensured as samples of meals are collected during inspections and analysed for their nutritive contents.