The new HRD minister Smriti Irani has proposed three big ticket ideas, as she calls, for improving school education in India. The most striking yet transforming idea is to provide buttermilk in midday meal.
She has asked the Department of School Education & Literacy to estimate the cost to be incurred on providing buttermilk mandatorily to children as part of the Mid-Day Meal scheme.
The other two big ticket ideas are opening separate model schools for talented boys and girls at the district level and declaring Saturday as sports day in schools.
As per the sources, the idea of providing buttermilk in mud day meal is being proposed keeping in mind the health issues in children. Buttermilk can cure rampant amoebiasis among school children.
MDM has been provided across 12.65 lakh schools and around 12 crore children enjoys the benefit of it. Educationally rich states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu offer milk to children as part of the MDM scheme. Some states even distribute iron tablets and other health supplements to school children.
Irani has also asked the ministry to estimate the cost of starting model schools. Navodaya Vidyalaya Sangathan has been entrusted to examine the proposal.
And, the idea of devoting Saturday in schools only to sports would be initially implemented in schools run by the HRD ministry, said the sources.