West Bengal Education minister Partha Chatterjee on Monday said the government is looking into the media reports alleging that guidelines for coronavirus prevention were not followed during the distribution of mid-day meal among guardians in two city-based schools.
The minister said every recommendation such as wearing masks and gloves while handing over, rice and potato, 2 kg for each student for a month, to each guardian should be followed in letter and spirit and warned of strict action if any school is seen flouting the guidelines.
Chatterjee said this after he was asked about the allegations that some guardians were seen not wearing masks while collecting the commodities and also standing close to each other.
The authorities of Jadavpur Vidyapith and Garia Andrews School, the two educational institutes against which such charges were levelled, however, claimed all guidelines for coronavirus prevention were followed.
Few guardians who came without masks were asked to come again after putting on masks. Those guardians were highlighted by the media, they claimed.
We will look into the reports. And if it is found there is any truth in the charges, we will take strict necessary action. There is zero tolerance to issues like public safety, the minister said. The minister also said these are stray incidents and by and large people are showing alacrity in following all the guidelines. He said distribution of rice and potato will be over in thousands of schools across the state by 3 pm Monday. The district inspectors of schools had asked the authorities of the state-run and state-aided schools to keep their premises open from March 21 to March 23 to facilitate the distribution of rice and potato for the children. With the state government announcing complete safety restrictions across most parts of West Bengal from 5 pm on March 23, the school education department had said the midday meal distribution programme will have to be wrapped up by Monday.
The West Bengal government on Saturday asked all state-run schools, that are shut till April 15 because of the coronavirus outbreak, to open the institutes till Monday to facilitate quick distribution of mid-day meals to children.
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