Bhubaneswar: The government of Odisha has issued an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for resuming the Mid-Day Meal programme at schools across the state from April 2022.
The State School and Mass Education department has sent notifications to the Collectors of the districts notifying in this regard that cooked meals are to be given to the students from class I to VIII under the PM Poshan scheme from April 2022.
The government has directed the authorities all across the districts to ensure that proper arrangements and necessary precautions should be taken by the school management and the Central Kitchen Agencies before sourcing the MDM programme from April 2022. The guidelines that have been listed to be followed precisely are;
a) Sanitization of the kitchen areas, utensils and storage containers in the schools
b) Sanitization and operating the Handwash facilities and toilets.
c) Making sure of the edibility of the available MDM ingredients. It has to be guaranteed that the Edibility Test of the available MDM ingredients is conducted in every school by the Head Master to prevent any MDM accident or food poisoning. This is to be ascertained by CRCCs and BEOs in the field.
d) Headmasters should provide a report, duly verified and confirmed by the concerned CRCC, to the BEO in case of damaged MDM stock and dispose of the ingredients.
e) Compulsory supervision and monitoring by the DEOs, BEOs, and CRCCs should be done much before the commencement of serving food to the students. They should use the services of CCHs to ensure safety measures in cooking and serving Mid-day meals.
f) Procurement of raw materials under COVID-19 guidelines.
g) Ensure personal hygiene and cleanliness of Cook cum Helpers (CCHs)
this should not be allowed to come to school if he/she is showing any covid symptoms like cough, cold and sneezing.
h) Areas near and around the cooking shed are to be kept clean and sanitised.
i) The dispersion of hot cooked meals should be done to the school children in an ascending manner (from smaller class to bigger class) over a few hours to observe the social distancing norms. However, the should be served and the seating arrangements if he students should be encouraged in the open air with social distancing and necessary markings should be done to guide the children on the seating arrangement.
j) School Management Committee/ Parents Teacher Associations should be advised to be present during the serving of food to monitor the conformity of the COVID-19 protocols amongst the teachers, Cook- cum-Helpers, WSHGs and the school children.
k) Distribution of hot cooked meal by Central Kitchen/NGOs
The DEOs must ensure that the agreement between Mid Day Meal and the Central Kitchen partners is renewed and up to date before April 2022. The DEOs shall visit the Central Kitchen site to ensure the re-functioning of Central Kitchen to provide the cooked meals to the children.
l) Weekly Iron Folic Acid (IFA) Supplementations (WIFS) programme has to be operated in school to boost the immune system of the children.
Children should be given IFA tablets (Pink tablet for class-IV and Blue tablet for class VI-X ) every Monday in their respective classrooms after having the mid-May meal. The tablets must be distributed to the children under the supervision of the class teachers. The tablets should not be administered to the children under any medication.