Karnataka Education Minister announces ragi malt in midday meals from December-

Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Madhu Bangarappa announced that the state government has decided to provide ragi malt along with midday meals to students from next month. The move is aimed at improving nutritional values in the meals.

Bangarappa spoke about the decision after holding his first review meeting on Thursday, November 16, with the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI), Block Education Officers (BEOs), nodal officers, and officials from all districts working in the education department. The minister added that schools have started distributing two eggs which is proving to be beneficial for students’ health, as per a report by The New Indian Express.

The minister informed that 3,000 Karnataka Public Schools (KPS) will be developed in a phased manner in the next three years. “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds will be used and the department is also in talks with Azim Premji Foundation for the same. A cost of Rs 600 crore has been identified for the infrastructure of these schools,” he added.

“I have personally visited and reviewed one or two districts. Education is one of the largest departments in the state and uses one-third of the resources. By the end of the year, I will finish the review of all the districts,” Bangarappa stated.

The minister also expressed his happiness about representatives from the Kalyana Karnataka Region Development Board (KKRDL) being a part of the meeting. “We need to accept that the region has been neglected but we will bring it back to the mainstream and also overtake the other regions,” he explained.

On the progress of State Education Policy (SEP), the minister said, “We will try to improve our state syllabus through SEP and make it better than other boards. However, there will be a lot of similarities. Technically we have to follow the same curriculum for Science and Math, which cannot be changed. Only for certain subjects, the syllabus will be changed, we have left it to the newly formed commission, and once the report is submitted there will be more clarity.”

“Other issues such as building 7,100 toilets under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme, 7,311 additional rooms in schools and recruitment of 13,000 teachers have been a positive step to improve the quality of education in the state,” Bangarappa said.

However, he refrained from commenting on the controversial hijab issue, in which the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) allowed candidates to write exams with hijabs, striking down the previous rule laid down by the BJP, as per The New Indian Express.

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