Tamil Nadu government has extended the noon meal scheme to Saturdays also. The move has come at a time when schools have been asked to function six days a week to make up for the academic loss.
Usually, noon meals were provided from Monday to Friday since most of the government and government-aided schools conduct classes for only half the day on Saturdays at best.
However, due to the pandemic, students lost more than nine months of the academic year and schools have opened only now, the School Education Department has ordered six-day classes per week.
A senior official from the School Education Department said the authorities, as a special case, have ordered to provide noon-meal, especially for Class 9 and 10 students. “More than five lakh students from these classes will be benefited,” he said.
Stating that more than 16,000 nutritious meal centres will function on Saturdays, the official said, “all the centres were asked to prepare menu according to the requirements.
“On par with the upper primary norms, the meal cost for per child has been worked out at Rs 9,” he said, adding, “it would cost the exchequer more than Rs 50 lakh per day to provide noon meal.”
Apart from providing noon meals on Saturdays, the government has also ordered to continue the supply of dry ration to students of primary level to Class 8, an official said.