CHENNAI: As the reopening of schools in the state was announced, preparations were on to introduce the free breakfast scheme for the government school students and the menu for the scheme is expected to be released soon.
Marking the completion of a year in office, Chief Minister MK Stalin on May 7 announced in the Assembly several schemes, including breakfast for school children studying from Class 1 to 5 in government schools. A senior official from the School Education Department told DT Next that the government is planning to introduce the breakfast scheme from the beginning of the coming academic year itself. Stating that initially the scheme will be introduced in the government schools, which were coming under 20 corporations across the state, he said, “food for breakfast will be cooked at the respective Anganwadi centers attached to the schools.”
The official pointed out that the government is keen to provide nutritious breakfast and therefore, the authorities were discussing the list of food items, which would be a part of the scheme. “Idly, pongal and roti were the options that were discussed,” he said adding, “the schools will also ensure that the same menu will not be repeated the next day also.”
Claiming that more than 16 lakh boys and girls will be benefited under the scheme, “the nutritious value of the breakfast, that would be served, will also be derived.”
He said anganwadis, which has its own kitchen, will have the required materials, including vessels and utensils for preparing breakfast for the children on a regular basis.
“Initially there will not be a common menu and schools would be allowed to choose the food for the breakfast, which was recommended by the government,” he added. The official also said though there will not be a common menu for the breakfast, the timing to serve the breakfast will be the same for all the schools. “Accordingly, the children have to come to the school exactly by 8.30 am to have breakfast and then attend the classes from 9.30 am,” he added.