The midday meal scheme as of now covers boys and girls up to Class 8. (File photo)
Girls upto Class 12 in all Delhi government schools will get midday meals from April this year. The authorities will earmark separate funds in its budget proposals for implementing the scheme, which as of now covers boys and girls up to Class 8.
The government has claimed that Delhi will become the first place in the country to serve midday meal upto Class 12. "The Delhi government will start serving midday meals to girls from Classes 9 to 12 from April 1 onwards. For this, it will set aside Rs 50 crore," said Atishi Marlena, the advisor to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
She said that later on, boys of these classes would also be covered under the scheme.
The centre gives over Rs 95-crore aid to Delhi government annually for serving midday meal from Classes 1 to 8.
"As the central government's financial assistance is only for students up to Class 8, the (Delhi) government will bear additional expenditure on the expansion of scheme in Delhi," she added.
In Delhi, there are around 1,000 government-run schools with 16 lakh students studying in them. Out of 1,000, there are over 450 schools solely for girls.
Like it did last year, the government will provide 25 per cent of the total budget to education sector. The budget will be presented on March 8.
On the reason behind the move, Ms Marlena said many principals informed the government that some students ask for mid-day meals even while studying in Class 9.
She said in another major policy decision, the Aam Aadmi Party government has mulled providing banana and egg to the mid-day meal scheme so that students could get more nutrients in their meal.