Wayanad: A severe financial crisis plaguing the mid-day meal programme in public schools has prompted teacher organisations, regardless of their political affiliations, to initiate a series of protests against the Kerala government, according to recent reports.
Head teachers in Kerala’s schools are still awaiting the disbursement of Rs 130 crore, which they have spent on sustaining the noon-meal initiative for students over the past three months. Out of this total, Rs 80 crore is designated as the Centre’s share, with the remaining Rs 50 crore owed by the State. Teacher organisations contend that the delay in Central funding is attributable to the state government’s failure to provide timely information regarding the total number of students benefiting from the programme. They warn that unless the state promptly releases the outstanding funds, schools may be compelled to suspend the mid-day meal programme, as per the reports.
Prominent teacher organisations to launch protests include the Congress-affiliated Kerala Primary School Teacher’s Association (KPSTA), the CPI (M)-affiliated Kerala School Teachers Association (KSTA), the pro-UDF United Teachers and Employees Federation (UTEF), the All Kerala School Teachers Union (AKSTU), and the Kerala Government Primary School Headmaster’s Association (KGPSHA), representing headmasters as part of their trade union.