Published: 07th October 2021
Obligated to not send hungry children to school, says Kerala govt as they reinstate Mid Day Meals
COVID-protocol should be followed while preparing food in schools reopening from November 1, say fresh guidelines issued by the government
Mid Day Meals will be offered in schools in Kerala when they reopen from November 1. Labour and Public Education Minister V Sivankutty said that the government has an "obligation to not send hungry children to school." Lunch will be provided at government schools, and the government has asked schools to ensure that COVID-protocol is followed while preparing these meals.
Late last month, the Kerala government had announced that schools will reopen from November 1, but the Mid Day Meals programme will be put on hold amongst the anxiety that COVID-safety guidelines might be violated. It was also announced that schools would only function until noon.
However, with COVID cases in the state dropping below the 10,000 mark, the state issued fresh guidelines that reinstated the Mid Day Meals programme, and said that the schools would be reopened in hybrid mode. Online classes would continue for children who are unable to reach school directly. In the first phase of reopening, the students in each class would be divided into batches to limit the number of students in classes. However, such batch adjustment is not mandatory in schools with fewer students. Specially-abled children should not come to schools in the first phase, said to the guidelines. All teaching and non-teaching staff should be vaccinated with two doses against COVID-19, said the guidelines.
Apart from setting up a helpline for any COVID-related emergencies, the government has also asked schools to have a doctor on board and ready to assist if required. V Sivankutty also said that all measures are being taken in order to sanitise schools thoroughly before the students come.