Mid-Day Meal Programme and Its Impact on Enrolment

Mid-Day Meal Programme And Its Impact In Improving Enroloment :
A Study in respect of Rayagada District of Orissa

Bishnupada Sethi


Rayagada is a part of "K-B-K"-region of Orissa State (India). The inhabitants of Rayagada are recognized as few of the most impoverished and deprived citizens of the country. Out of the total population of 8.23 lakhs, 56.04 % belong to Scheduled Tribes (S.T.) and 14.28 % belong to Scheduled Caste (S.C.) communities. The literacy rate, a vital indicator of prosperity is only 29.12% overall, and 17.83% for the females in the rural area as per the 2001 census. The BPL ("Below Poverty Line") survey was conducted in 1997. Out of 1,88,317 rural families, 1,35,785 have been categorized as BPL. The poverty is quite endemic. The district has a sex ratio of 1029 females per 1000 males. The district witnessed a decadal population growth of 15.27%. The higher sex ratio and low population growth is despite adverse economic condition and not due to any economic progress. The basic minimum facilities are not available to a large section of people. In some pockets, like Parsali, Kurli, Chandrapur, Gudari, Puttasing, Kashipur of the district, it would not be wrong to mention that the poorest population of the World reside there.

Poverty is a major issue. It has its impact on the primary education as well. Because of mass illiteracy and endemic poverty, the community participation in primary education is low. High drop out, low retention, problems of girls’ education and education of ST (Tribal) children are the major issues for the administration. Several steps have been taken in the district to improve the scenario. The most important intervention to take note of, is the introduction of mid-day meal programme.

Mid-Day Meal programme is in operation in the district since July, 1995. Cooked meal at lunch hour is being provided to the students enrolled in class I to V excepting in Urban schools, where dry ration is being provided from 1.7.2001 in accordance with the revised guidelines issued vide letter No.4761 dated 22.6.2002 of Chief Secretary to Government of Orissa.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAMME

The Government of India provides free rice, while the State Government provides funds to meet other expenditure like cost of dal, salt, oil, fuel and stationery, vegetable and condiments. The honoraria paid to cooks and helpers are borne by the Gram Panchayats out of the funds of JGSY. At the district level, the Collector has been monitoring the programme with the assistance of District Social Welfare Officer and Civil Supplies Officer. The Block Development Officers, with the assistance of Extension Officers, Sub Inspectors of Schools, Supply Inspectors, implement the programme for their Blocks. The Child Development Project Officers and Lady Supervisors have also been made responsible for the success of the programme. At the school point, School Education Committees have been formed to supervise implementation at the village level. It has been kept in view to strengthen the functioning of the School Education Committees, so that they can take over the program subsequently.

FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT OF THE PROGRAMME

The rice is being lifted from nearest FCI ("Food Corporation of India") point allotted by Government of India. The required quantity of Dal, Oil, salt are procured locally through purchase committees constituted at district level. The costs of these items are being met out of funds allocated by Government in Women and Child Development Department, Orissa.

Arrangements have been made to lift and deliver the stock through the Civil Supplies Corporation functioning in the district, as the appointment of S & TA for the year 2001-2002 has not yet been finalized.

THE NORMS & COVERAGE OF THE PROGRAMME

The scale of foodstuff prescribed per student per meal is as under.

1. Rice 125 grams per student per day.

2. Dal 15 grams per student per day.

3. Oil 1 gram per student per day.

4. Salt 2 grams per student per day.

5. Vegetable/condiment Rs.0.09 per student per day.

6. Fuel & Stationary Rs.1.30 per beneficiary per month.

7. Honorarium to cook Rs.200/- per month

8. Honorarium to Helper Rs.100/- per month.

Cooked meal at lunch hour is provided to all the student enrolled in class I to V excepting schools located in urban areas, where dry ration is given @ 3 kgs of rice per student per month having 80% of attendance of the student in previous month. This is being provided since 1.7.2001 in accordance with the revised guidelines issued by Government of Orissa. Distribution is being made twice a month i.e. once in every fortnight.

During the current year 2001-2002, the Government of India have allotted Qtl. 25,601.76 of rice for the coverage of 1,06,674 students in 240 school days. The percentage of monthly coverage of students is 70% to 75%.

AN ANALYSIS

The data on enrolment available for last ten years is given below, on the basis of which some observations have been made.


Year

Class I

Class II

Class III

Class IV

Class V

Total

SC

ST

Girls
1991-1992

15,449 

14,649 

15,763 

9,512 

6,579 

61,952 

12,483 

31,573 

24,388 
1992-1993

16,263 

15,420 

16,593 

10,013 

6,926 

65,215 

13,165 

33,051 

25,669 
1993-1994

17,199 

16,232 

17,467 

10,540 

7,291 

68,729 

13,833 

34,987 

27,018 
1994-1995

18,217 

17,043 

18,340 

11,367 

7,655 

72,622 

14,621 

37,024 

28,584 
1995-1996

21,820 

16,835 

17,088 

12,251 

8,646 

76,640 

15,559 

39,358 

29,926 
1996-1997

17,640 

19,973 

16,363 

11,990 

8,056 

74,022 

14,561 

38,041 

31,165 
1997-1998

20,376 

18,417 

22,167 

13,744 

9,187 

83,891 

16,206 

45,361 

34,516 
1998-1999

24,888 

19,916 

20,491 

17,120 

11,191 

93,606 

18,242 

51,199 

39,265 
1999-2000

26,025 

22,850 

21,133 

17,281 

13,877 

101,166 

20,154 

56,817 

43,574 
2000-2001

26,070 

25,231 

22,534 

17,121 

14,100 

105,056 

20,896 

59,894 

46,379 
Growth rate for nine years
69 
72 
43 
80 
114 
70 
67 
90 
90 

The mid-day-meal program was started in the year 1995-96. The analysis of the above data shows the following facts :

(i)    The number of students enrolled in class-I during 1994-95 is 18217. During 1995 96, there was a very high increase by 20% in the enrolment in class-I, whereas for the total students the rise was only by 6% for the same year. It shows that a large number of students had remained un-enrolled in the previous years and because of the mid-day-meal program, a sharp rise of 20% in class-I is seen. This can also be seen from the graph on trend of enrolment for class-I children.

(ii)    Because of high enrolment in class-I during 1995-96 and continuation of mid-day-meal program, there is seen tremendous improvement in the enrolment position in different classes during subsequent years. During 1996-97, there was 19% improvement in the enrolment in class-II, when compared to its previous year. The improvement in class-III during 1997-98 was 35%. The improvement in class-IV during 1998-99 was 25%. The improvement in class-V during 1999-2000 is 24%. This has been possible because of less dropout and more retention in subsequent years, as the rise in growth rate for these classes is more, than due the intake in class I during 1995-96.

(iii)    An analysis of the position of total student enrolled before the mid-day-meal program and after its introduction is given below:


Category

Average children enrolled during the period 1991-92 to 1994-95 Average children enrolled during the period 1995-96 to 2000-01 Rise in enrolment

Class I

16782

22803

36%

Class II

15836

20537

30%

Class III

17041

19963

17%

Class IV

10358

14918

44%

Class V

7113

10843

52%

Total children in all classes

67146

89090

33%

S.C.

13526

17603

30%

S.T.

34159

48445

42%

Girls

26415

37471

42%

The rise in enrolment can be considered significant in a mean period of 5 years, while the decadal population growth rate is only15.27%. The average number of students enrolled in class-I after the starting of mid-day-meal program has increased by 36% when compared to the period before the mid-day-meal program. The greatest impact has been on the S.T. and girls’ enrolment position. The growth rate in enrolment for the girls and S.T. children is much higher than the rise for the total students. Similarly, the increase by 52% for the class V students proves better retention, less dropout and more success in terms of completing class V education. The difference in the improvement for class III (17%) and class IV (44%) can be explained by the facts that there were more drop outs after class III earlier, which showed significant improvement for the children in class IV and class V after the introduction of MDM.

(iv)    If we analyze the average annual growth rate, it is more in the period since the starting of mid-day-meal program.


Category Before mid-day-meal program After mid-day-meal program

Class I

6

4

Class II

5

10

Class III

5

6

Class IV

7

8

Class V

5

13

S C

6

7

S T

6

10

Girls

10

11

Obviously, after the mid-day-meal program, the annual growth rate has been more than in the previous period. This decrease in the growth rate as far as class I is concerned, can be explained by the fact that more number of children got admitted soon after the introduction of the MDM program. There would be a normal tendency for such growth rate in enrolment to decline to match the population growth rate.

(v)        It can be seen from the various graphs given later, on the number of children studying in class I & V, total students, S.T. students, girls students, SC students that there is distinct division between two periods; one prior to the starting of MDM program and another afterwards. The growth in enrolment is far more rapid than the population. As such, the enrolment improvement is higher than the population growth rate before the starting of the MDM program. Had there been no intervention, the curve should taper down and remain parallel to the population growth subsequently. But significantly, the curve shows an upward trend.

(vi)  The following data is on child tracking. For the different years of admission in class I, the numbers of students in subsequent years in higher classes have been shown, for the corresponding year of admission. The percentage of children passing out class V has increased from 56% for the students admitted during 91-92 in class I to 80% for the students admitted in class I during 96-97. Obviously, retention has increased. The graph on child tracking can be shown, as given later. It is seen that for the years of admission after the introduction of mid day meal, the curves show more upward trend, meaning more retention and success in terms of completing class V examination.


Year of admission in class I

No of students in Class I

No of students in Class II

No of students in Class III

No of students in Class IV

No of students in Class V

% of students passing out class V, against admission in class I, 5 years back 

1991-1992

15,449 

15,420 

17,467 

11,367 

8,646 

55.96479
1992-1993

16,263 

16,232 

18,340 

12,251 

8,056 

49.53576
1993-1994

17,199 

17,043 

17,088 

11,990 

9,187 

53.4159
1994-1995

18,217 

16,835 

16,363 

13,744 

11,191 

61.43163
1995-1996

21,820 

19,973 

22,167 

17,120 

13,877 

63.59762
1996-1997

17,640 

18,417 

20,491 

17,281 

14,100 

79.93197




SUMMARY

During the period of analysis, other measures were taken to improve the retention, dropout, enrolment of girl children and S.T. students. It has not been possible to analyze the impacts of all other interventions on the enrolment position. However, if we analyze the situation before the mid-day-meal program and afterwards, we can find sharp departure from the trends of the pre-mid-day-meal situation. Hence, it can be said that mid-day-meal program has made significant contribution for the improvement in enrolment, retention in various classes, reduction in drop out, helping to get more no. of S.T. and girls children, completing class V in the primary schools.

***************

Bishnupada Sethi, a member of the Indian Administrative Service, is presently District Magistrate and Collector,   Rayagada ( Orissa, India ).



 

A Document of World Food Programme : India Office  [ Press Release  7 March 2001 ]

PUT GIRLS IN SCHOOL TO END GLOBAL HUNGER AND POVERTY, 
SAYS WFP HEAD

ROME – The head of the United Nations World Food Programme has called on the 
international community to help send girls in developing countries to school, citing girls’ 
education as one of the most effective weapons there is for ending global hunger and 
poverty.

Catherine Bertini, Executive Director of WFP, who issued the challenge in advance on 
International Women’s Day tomorrow, said that closing the massive gap between boys’ 
and girls’ school enrolment should be the top priority for the international community in 
developing countries.

"There is now a critical mass of experience and evidence proving the value of educating 
girls," said Bertini. "It is virtually impossible to overestimate the importance of giving a 
young girl the opportunity to spend even a few years in school before her working life begins."

Bertini, who has made gender equality one of the policy cornerstones of WFP, noted that of 
the estimated 875 million illiterate adults in the world today, two-thirds are women.

And yet, girls who go to school marry later than girls who don’t, and they have fewer and 
healthier children, Bertini said, citing studies showing that mothers who complete primary 
education will have an average of two children fewer than those women with no schooling.

In his new book, The Third Freedom: Fighting Hunger in Our Time, the U.S. Ambassador 
to the UN agencies in Rome, George McGovern, notes that for each additional year of 
education girls in a community receive, the birth rate goes down by 10 percent.

Moreover, mothers with some education give their children more enlightened care and 
have more resources to provide for them. Educated women also have a bigger income 
potential.

"In school, young girls not only learn to read and write, they also gain an understanding of 
the possibilities in life that education can create," said Bertini. "I know of one little girl in 
Benin who was returned to school because we gave her parents cooking oil the whole 
family could use. Over that one year in school, she got the idea that she wanted to train 
to be a nurse and work in a hospital. And this was a girl who had never known anything 
but doing manual labour for her family. By putting girls like her in school, we are helping 
create their dreams and aspirations."

WFP, the world’s largest food aid agency, has been promoting girls’ education through 
this "take-home rations" programme since 1991, when the first such project was 
launched in Yemen. Today, "take-home" programmes in 16 countries are giving millions 
of girls the chance to achieve literacy.

WFP, which has been supporting school feeding programs for more than 30 years, 
today manages the biggest such program in the world. In 1999, WFP gave a meal or 
some form of food to 11.2 million schoolchildren in 52 countries – and just over five 
million of those, nearly 50 percent, were girls.

India is one of the highest contributors to out of school and illiterate women in South 
Asia. Although committed to ‘The World Declaration on Education for All’, India is lagging 
behind in achieving this goal and has been striving to enrol and retain children especially 
girls in primary school. Literacy rate for girls and women are low in relation to boys and 
men (44 against 71 for males). Around 41 percent of girls drop out of school as 
compared to 35 percent boys. Illiteracy is worst among tribal women in rural areas 
(16 percent) and best among urban males not belonging to scheduled castes or tribes 
(83 percent).

Under the present Country Programme, WFP supports early childhood education by 
offering a nutritionally balanced meal to 1 million preschool children through the 
Government of India's Integrated Child Development Project (ICDS). WFP invests 
around US $ 18 million annually for the supplementary food for ICDS beneficiaries. 
Besides providing nutritious food WFP supports initiatives for enriching preschool 
education by providing special training to the ICDS functionaries and learning materials 
for children attending the Anganwadi centres. Emphasis is on making learning enjoyable 
and creating parent awareness for building bridges between the AWCs and the home. 
WFP also provides infrastructural support for fostering education. More than US$ 3 million 
have been invested in the constructing school buildings, hostels and Anganwadi/Balwadi 
centres. The infrastructure thus created have encouraged pre-school, primary and middle 
school level education for children in remote tribal areas were such facilities are not available.

In its future programme which begins from 2003, WFP will support girls' enrolment and 
retention in schools, by using a variety of food-based approaches. A take-home ration 
scheme (exclusively for girls) will enable food insecure families to send their girls to 
school for whom girls' labour is an essential household coping strategy. A mid-morning 
snack initiative will aim at providing a model for the improvement of the existing national 
mid-day meal programme. Combined with the provision of appropriate micronutrient 
fortified food (for example Indiamix) and school health activities (such as de-worming),
 the mid-morning snack should result in improved learning ability among children (both 
girls and boys). WFP would also consider providing technical support to strengthen 
government capacity to plan and implement school feeding activities. Food assistance 
will enable target girls in the age group of 6-14 to enter into the formal school system by 
getting them admitted into classes as per their age and aptitude.

###

WFP is the United Nations’ front-line agency in the fight against global hunger. In 1999, 
WFP fed more than 89 million people in 82 countries including most of the world’s 
refugees and internally displaced people.

For photos to accompany this press release, as well as further details about WFP and 
International Women’s Day, please visit the website www.wfp.org.

For further details please contact: Dr. Minnie Mathew, Senior Advocacy Officer,World 
Food Programme, 53 Jor Bagh, New Delhi - 110003, India, 
Email: minnie.mathew@wfp.org [  http://www.wfp.org.in/media/press4.htm ]

 



Other Documents For Further Reading :
 
School Feeding Programs in Developing Countries : An Analysis of Actual and Potential Impact
School Feeding Programs: Improving Effectiveness and Increasing the Benefit to Education :
A Guide for Program Managers
Impact of Mid Day Meal Program on Educational and Nutritional Status of School 
Children in Karnataka 

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