Government to monitor Midday meals using IVRS from December

The government of Goa has schemed a structure through which it will surveil the quality of the midday meals provided in schools around the state on a daily basis. This would be done through the means of an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) – the data from which will be submitted to the central government’s midday meal monitoring portal regularly, even before the end of school hours for each day. This is to check misconduct and ensure proper execution for retention of school children as well as to keep a check on dropouts. Goa has clearly banked on a similar IVRS project initiated by Mid-Day Meal Authority, Uttar Pradesh way back in 2010.

“At present, schools submit their midday meal data to the additional district education inspectors in their taluka and these officials submit the data to the directorate of education. This means that a lot of time lapses before the data reaches the directorate,” managing director, Infotech Corporation of Goa, Nilesh Faldessai said. Presently recording voice messages in English, Konkani and Marathi – Infotech Corporation of Goa is preparing the IVRS for the initiative and trying to check for any loopholes in the plan.

Under the new system, each school will authorize one staff member to receive and handle a call each day. If the system falls into place it will ensure that there are no leakage of funds being handed down for midday meals and in the long run, it will also help monitor the scheme on a real time basis.

“The staffer will hear automated messages asking him or her details like if the midday meal was served for the day, if the meal was tasted and if the school was satisfied with the quality. Number of female and male students who were served the meals will also be recorded,” mentioned Director of education GP Bhat.

The Union HRD ministry had directed all States and Union territories to apply schemes using automated monitoring systems for the midday meals supply by July to ensure more efficiency. Goa is behind schedule despite its Midday meal being supplied by over 100 self-help groups. A total of 1,43,135 students from Class I to VIII, which also comprises 90% of the total enrollment, benefit from the Midday meal scheme in Goa. HRD officials have suggested the use of apps, SMS, email or IVRS or a combination of all for automated monitoring in order to achieve faster results.

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