Odisha govt starts providing dry ration, learning materials to students not attending schools

Bhubaneswar: The school and mass education department has started providing dry ration and learning materials at the doorstep of students, who cannot come to schools due to disability and health grounds.
A meeting was held under the chairmanship of the chief secretary on June 8 to implement the Orissa High Court order on providing dry ration and learning materials to all children who are not able to attend school.
In this connection, a program was conducted to identify such children in the age group of 6-14 years so that they can be provided dry ration and learning materials. As many as 3,694 students are not attending schools across the state who are not attending school due to disability or health grounds. Of them, 20 children are not enrolled in schools, said the official sources.
The department has instructed all its district education officers (DEOs) to ensure that no child, who is of school-going age, is deprived of the purview of ongoing government programmes. It asked them to enrol the 20 children in schools in their age-appropriate class.
The DEOs have been asked to provide dry ration (rice) at the doorstep of such children and cooking costs through direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode under PM POSHAN (midday meal) as per the norms fixed. “Provide age-appropriate nationalised textbooks to all the identified students who are unable to attend school,” said the department order.
The department has also asked the officers to refer these children to nearby health and wellness centres for health check-ups and counselling.
“The school teachers may be instructed to follow up the identified students’ academic progress, counsel their parents and make monthly visits to the houses of the students. The provision of dry ration and cooking cost to these children should be reflected in the monthly management information system (MIS) data,” said the official letter issued by department secretary Aswathy S to DEOs.

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