The Telegraph
Saturday , February 1 , 2014
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Andhra model on midday plate

Ranchi, Jan. 31: The state HRD department will adopt the Andhra Pradesh’s Green Channel scheme to ensure proper implementation of the midday meal scheme, which is meant to stem the drop out rate in government schools.

Under the scheme, the schools will be authorised to draw their monthly expense in advance. The Green Channel scheme facilitates one-time smooth and quick release of funds under the budget for the financial year.

The state primary education department took the decision because delay in release of funds often forces the teachers to contribute from their own pockets. They, at times, also buy grocery items like pulses, vegetables, rice and oil on credit from local shops.

Speaking to The Telegraph, joint secretary of state HRD department Kameshwar Prasad said they are planning to start following the Andhra model once they receive the fund from the Centre. The money is likely to come in March.

Besides, a body will also be formed to look after the monthly transactions. “We are going to rope in a few professionals to monitor the utilisation of the money and they will also ensure that the schools get the sum in advance,” he added.

Under the present system, funds get delayed for over three months.

“Though it reaches the office of the district superintendent of education (DSE) on time, the payment is almost always delayed. We are facing lot of problems as every month we have to spend from our own pockets,” said a teacher of State Middle School in Chadri on condition of anonymity.

He added that they have to wait and often visit the DSE’s office for money. “Last month, we contributed from our own pockets to purchase pulses and vegetables,” said the teacher.

DSE Jayant Mishra, however, said that as soon as the fund is allocated, they immediately transfer the money to the schools. “It depends upon the time it reaches us from the directorate. But I ensure that our school children do not suffer due to delay in fund release,” he added.

A majority of teachers blamed the state government for untimely supply of food grains released by Food Corporation of India.