Tamil Nadu Government’s breakfast scheme leads to improved attendance in 85% schools

Edited by: Damini Solanki

Last updated time: 17 March 2023, 16:12 IST

The data compared the participation of students in grades 1-5 in January-February 2023 with June-July 2022 (Representative photo/News18)

Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu recently tweeted to share details of the success of the initiative.

A report on the impact of the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme in Tamil Nadu shows that it is positively associated with student attendance. The number of school attendance has increased in schools in every district that implemented this scheme. Data shows that 85 percent of schools under the scheme have increased student attendance between grades 1 to 5. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu, recently shared data on the success of the initiative in a tweet.

One icon attached to the tweet showed that a large percentage of public schools in every district where the scheme was implemented had increased attendance. In four districts, namely Tirupathur, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Tiruvarur, 100 per cent schools reported an increase in attendance.

Another graph showed that 1,319 (about 85%) of the 1,543 schools where the scheme was implemented had increased attendance. The data compared participation of students in grades 1-5 in January-February 2023 with June-July 2022.

“Exciting impact report on CM @mkstalin breakfast scheme launched for the first time in Madurai. 85% of covered schools show an increase in attendance; each district has a + effect. Children are our future, their welfare is the foundation of social justice,” wrote Palanivel Thiaga Rajan.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra praised the initiative. “Amazing scheme. Proud that @ptrmadurai got the money allocated from the state budget for this initiative,” he wrote.

Under the scheme, which was launched in September last year, primary school students studying in government schools are provided with breakfast on all weekdays. The Tamil Nadu State Department of Social Welfare and Women’s Empowerment says the initiative was first rolled out in Corporations, Municipalities and Panchayats based on the high prevalence of anaemia. The latest figures provided by the website suggest that 1,14,095 primary school students studying in 1,545 government schools will be covered under the scheme.

A report in The Hindu said in June this year that the scheme will be rolled out in more centers and eventually help several lakh students. Research is being done to build centralized kitchens in many places. Currently, only city centers have centralized kitchens where food is prepared. In rural areas, food is prepared on the school grounds.

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