Major Government schemes II: Mid-day meal

In an earlier blog post this month I had put up a summarised version of an evaluation study done by the Planning Commission of India.  The Planning Commission had evaluated the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.  In this blog post, I am summarising their evaluation of the Mid-day meal scheme.

The Mid-day Meal Scheme was launched by the Government of India in 1995 with the objectives of:
  • Increasing enrolment in primary education;
  • Improving the nutritional status of students.
In September 2006, this scheme was revised to give cooked mid-day meal with 450 calories and 12 grams of protein content to all children in primary classes (I-V) in the country.
Some of the major issues are:
  1. Almost universal coverage of the scheme in states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc.
  2. 33 percent of the parents of the beneficiary children are illiterates.
  3. Although Steering –cum – Monitoring Committees have been constituted at all levels, they are not holding any regular meetings to co-ordinate and monitor the programme at the block/village level.
  4. Except for Tamilnadu and Kerala, in rest of the states a majority of sample  schools, on an average, suffer from the unavailability and poor functional condition of kitchen sheds.
  5. All the states suffer from the unavailability and poor functional condition of
  6. store rooms.
  7. Except for Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, there is a serious shortage of cooks
  8. for CMDM in the sample schools across the country.
  9. Some of the sample districts in Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh have utilized less than half the funds allocated to them.
  10. In most of the states teachers spend about one to two hours daily on activities related to CMDM thereby reducing precious teaching time.
  11. Out of the 17 sample states where the data was collected, students in 9 states reported that they were involved in washing utensils.

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