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Govt. to Set up Kitchen Gardens in 20 Girls’ Residential Schools

Weekly horticulture skill-development classes will be held where students will learn both the theory and practice of kitchen gardening.

Shubhi Singh
Kitchen Gardening is a great way to save money on groceries.
Kitchen Gardening is a great way to save money on groceries.

The integrated school education department in Chennai will soon build kitchen gardens spread over 1,000 sq. ft each at 20 residential schools for girls in nine districts on a pilot scheme.

By introducing diversity to the midday meal program, the plan, which would cost Rs 63 lakh to implement, aims to address the issue of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies among girl pupils. It will also offer the children a first-hand learning experience regarding nutrition.

Weekly horticulture skill-development sessions will be held where students will study both the theory and practice of kitchen gardening. Additionally, every school will have the tools, supplies, and seeds needed to grow plants.

The project has been chosen for Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, residential schools with a predominance of female students from underprivileged families. According to media sources, this was done to avoid upsetting the school's nurturing plans because most of the students there spend the entire year living in hostels.

Although there are 57 such schools operating in educationally underdeveloped buildings in the state, only those that can provide 1,000 square feet have been selected in the first phase.

Schools, the Samagra Shiksha team, and employees of the vendor will make up the project's team. The vendor will monitor the project and educate pupils.

In each school, the headmaster and the warden will oversee the implementation of the project.

The warden would ensure the consumption of freshly cultivated fruits and vegetables by the pupils and also track the development of immunity in each youngster. This will be done by checking the frequency of students falling sick a month and keeping a watch on their performance in class activities and academic performance.

A gardener will be in charge of keeping track of how well the pupils are doing at taking care of the plants. Each month, the headteacher will get reports from the warden and the gardener.

A school education department official said that the department has launched a tender to hire a service provider to carry out the project. The project will employ a project manager, a dietitian, a five-person seminar delivery team, and 20 crop cultivators.

In addition to instructing the pupils, the service provider will be in charge of nurturing and maintaining the garden.

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