Extend Mid Day Meal beyond fifth standard: MPs
New Delhi, Mar 03: Cutting across party lines, Lok Sabha members today (Mar 03, 2006) deplored that the goal of free and compulsory education could not be achieved even after 58 years of independence, and called for raising the budgetary allocation on education to six per cent for infrastucture and extending of Mid-Day Meal scheme beyond the fifth standard.
Initiating the discussion on the Private Members' Bill moved by CPI's Sudhakar Reddy to seeking constitutional backing for the Mid Day Meal, Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) demanded that the government implement the scheme in the semi-government schools also, extend it up to the seventh stanard and evolve a monitoring mechanism to check pilferage of foodgrains.
Prof M Ramadass (PMK) said the mid deal scheme must be seen in the larger socio-economic perspective and the successive governments' failure to provide basic education and health care to the people.
He said the objective could be achieved by hiking the budget allocation for education (six per cent of the Union budget), laying of infrastructure like the buildings, employing requisite teachers, improving methods of teaching and text books and making the curriculum interesting.
"Besides, the examination system should be skill-based and not memory based", he added.
Congress' Karan Singh Yadav also participated in the discussion.