In an innovation to collect data directly and immediately from the schools on status of the Mid-day meal schemes for each of the state’s 1.5 lakh schools, UP has come out with an innovative monitoring system. On a daily basis a phone call is rec’d on the mobile of the teacher responsible for the mid-day meal, he is asked to punch in the number of students served with the meal, if the teacher punches zero (in case no mid-day meal was served), the teacher is asked to punch any of the 4 numbers (1) if the cook was not available, (2) if the raw-material was not available for cooking, (3) transportation problem (where food is being cooked elsewhere using cluster approach, and (4) any other reason.
Phone call is being made using a software through voice-mail and responses are immediately recorded and displayed on the UP Mid-day Meal Authority web-site, using a ‘cloud telephony’ technology. This provides the authority to opportunity to intervene immediately, if no meals are being served at a particular school. Earlier the Authority could intervene at the earliest only after a few weeks when the Gram Pradhan’s report is received by the Authority.
The experiment of the UP Govt. has been commended by the central Govt. and several states have elicited interest in the replication, as it provides immediate data to the authorities who wish to take immediate corrective action. However the problem of Gram Pradhan and teacher colluding still continues and the UP authority is looking how to overcome such situations.
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