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Impact
Mid Day Meal Scheme has increased enrolment in schools. In 2007-08 the enrolment was 627596 in both the Primary Schools and EGS Centres and in the year 2008-09 it has increased to 737413. There are reports from different parts of the State that more children are attracted to school with the introduction of cooked Mid Day Meal Scheme. As such attendance also has increased in schools.

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Best Practices
As regards transportation of foodgrain, the wholesalers are to lift foodgrain from FCI godown. From the wholesalers’ godown, foodgrain is lifted by the Fair Price Shop dealer who transported the same to the doorsteps of the schools. The transportation cost is shared by the wholesalers and the Fair Price Shop dealer at the proportion of 25:75.
To make things easier for the School to maintain the records of the implementation of the scheme, formats like Stock Register, Attendance Register, Cash Book Register, School Monthly formats have been compiled in booklet form.

Evaluation
The State Resource Center (SRC) of North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) has been commissioned to take up Third Party Evaluation of the Scheme. The outcome of the evaluation which will be an independent assessment of the implementation will give the State an actual/accurate picture based on which the strengths and weaknesses of the Scheme can be more definitely known. The State Resource Centre (NEHU) is yet to submit its evaluation report on the study conducted.

 

Objectives
The main objective of MDM Programme in the State is to boost universalisation of Primary Education. Mid Day Meal Programme was expected to attract more children to come to school and in this way it will increase enrolment, attendance, retention and bring down drop-out rate. Mid Day Meal with enhanced calorific energy content and increased quantity of proteins in food, is also expected to improve the nutritional status of children.
Mid Day Meal Programme will surely encourage poor children belonging to disadvantaged sections of the society to attend school more regularly.The rationale of the Mid Day Meal Programme is that if it is successfully implemented, it would help in increasing the enrolment of children in school and minimizing the number of out of school children and drop-out rate. Parents of poor children will find less difficulty in sending their children to schools if meal is served to them.

Feedback
The copy of the report of the monitoring institution on MDM Programme for the State of Meghalaya was received very recently. In the meeting held on the 12.02.2008 with the District Officers of Elementary & Mass Education, the findings and the observations of the monitoring institute was discussed as one of the agenda items. The District officers have been instructed to furnish their comments on the report. The points raised in the report like appointment of cooks and helpers so that teachers are not made to cook mid day meals were explained and necessary advice was given on how to circumvent the particular problem highlighted therein. The District Commissioners have also been requested to ensure that allotment and lifting of foodgrains is regular and timely.
It is a fact that there had been some disruptions in giving MDM to the school children during the rainy seasons due to the absence of good kitchen sheds. With the construction of kitchen sheds in 2539 Government L.P. Schools and better convergence with the schemes like NREGS, this situation is expected to significantly improve. Another 5276 Schools and EGS Centres are yet to be provided with Good Kitchen Sheds. Out of 2259 Upper Primary Schools, only 468 U.P. Schools in EBBs are being provided with Kitchen Sheds.

Overall Assessment
On the whole, Mid Day Meal Programme which has been implemented in the State has been able to a great extent to attract more children to schools. Dropout rate has come down considerably from 33.67% to 24.06%. Mid Day Meal Programme also helps the poor families by lessening their hesitation to send their children to school where they do not have to worry about providing food to the children during school hours. Mid Day Meal Programme will enhance the learning capacity of children as nutritious food is served to them every day although no study has as yet been conducted on this. At present the only problem that we are facing is the lack of pucca kitchen-sheds where Mid Day Meal can be cooked and served inspite of any kind of weather.

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