CHENNAI: As there were several complaints that the distribution of freebies, including uniforms for the students in the state-run schools were delayed this year, the Tamil Nadu government has taken initiative to provide the school kits on time for the coming academic year.
Usually about 10 items, including textbooks, notebooks, uniforms, footwear, atlas, crayon and colour pencils, geometry box, laptops and woolen sweater are distributed before the reopening of schools. However, this year the distribution of freebies for the children was delayed in many government and government-aided schools across the state due to various reasons, including late procurement.
Admitting the delay in the distribution of free-of-cost items to children this year, a senior official from the School Education Department, seeking anonymity, told DT Next that following complaints, clear instructions were given to the authorities concerned to procure all the freebies before March 2023, so that they would be distributed during the summer holidays and well before the reopening of schools.
“To purchase the school kits, tenders have already been floated especially for buying 10 items including school bags, footwear, and colour pencils,” he said adding “additional bid will be floated to purchase school uniform and other items”.
Stating that there were also complaints in a few places that the quality of school uniforms was substandard, the official said this year the state government had also instructed that there should not be any complaints from students and as well as parents with regard to the quality of freebies.
The official said a separate team has been formed in each district not only to ensure the quality of freebies, but also to make sure that the school kits were distributed on time so that all the students will be benefited.
“Priority will be given to distributing uniforms, textbooks, and notebooks since these items will benefit more than 70 lakh students across the state,” he said adding “this does not mean distribution of other items will be delayed. It will also be given on time.” The official pointed out that the government is spending more than Rs 4,000 crore for the student welfare scheme, including providing noon meals to the children during school days.