By Dinasena Ratugamage
Secretary of Education in the Northern Province, A. U. Maheswaran has ordered officials to investigate the quality of schoolchildren’s midday meal. He has done so in response to a large number of complaints that the food is substandard.
She said that parents have complained that many principals were misusing funds allocated for the midday meal programme.Moreover, those in charge of cooking the meals were stealing food, Maheswaran said.
She said there were also complaints that the food was prepared under unhygienic conditions. The provincial Education Ministry receives a large number of reports that children become sick after consuming school midday meals.
This leads them to skip school for days, Maheswaran said.She added that Public Health Inspectors and other health officials must monitor the preparation of midday school meals.Recent UNICEF and WFP surveys have shown that a large number of schoolchildren in the country are food insecure.