Karnataka’s state government and aided schools have been asked to serve the mid-day meals in a staggered manner to prevent crowding in case schools do not have sufficient resources to cater to all students at once.
Karnataka’s department of public instruction has issued a circular, asking schools to follow a set of protocols while catering to children under the mid-day meal and Ksheera Bhagya (milk distribution) scheme.
This comes after an evaluation was done by the Samajika Parishodana Nirdeshanalaya and Karnataka Evaluations Authority.
In one such guidelines, schools that have a single dining area or have high student strength and Karnataka Public Schools have been asked to serve meals to students in batches.
Effectively, mid-day meals will be served to children in lower grades (classes 1-5) between 1 and 1.45 pm and for the higher grades (class 6 and above) between 2 pm and 2.24 pm.
In a circular, the commissioner for department of public instruction has said that this will avoid overcrowding, students being forced to finish meals in a hurry and chaos while cleaning their plates post lunch.
A reminder has also been served that schools must ensure students are given weekly tablets under the Weekly Iron and Folic Acid distribution programme and de-worming tablets bi-annually after examining the tablets thoroughly.
Among the other guidelines are maintenance of hygiene by the cook, updating on state and central government portals pertaining to meeting the nutrition needs of children and transporting meals in closed steel containers ensuring temperature is not below 65 degrees Celsius.
Schools must ensure students are seated in sanitized dining areas with no dust while the cook serves these seated children food.
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