Bhubaneswar: To ensure quality teaching in schools, the Odisha government on Thursday decided to relieve teachers from the responsibility of the mid-day meal (MDM) management by entrusting the charge to women self-help groups (SHGs).
A decision to this effect was taken by Mission Shakti and the School and Mass Education Department.
According to the revised guidelines, the contractor under the MDM programme will hand over the MDM rice to women SHGs who will look after its custody and safety. The women SHGs will procure other ingredients locally and hand over the cooked meal to the headmaster after it is hygienically prepared by the cook-cum-helper. Along with SHG members, the headmaster of the school will also remain present at the time of distribution of meals to the children.
The money for the MDM will be directly disbursed to the women SHGs through the District Education Officer (DEO).
School and Mass Education Minister Samir Dash said that the existing central kitchens operating in the state will not be affected.
He said that initially, women SHGs will manage the MDM programme in the schools that have a strength of 100 students or above. Subsequently, they will take charge of the remaining schools in the state.