Nutrition Improvement Plan for Rural Students in Compulsory Education: Changtian Primary School in Huishui County, Guizhou Province

Source: www.moe.gov.cn

With 661 students having lunch at school, the Changtian Primary school has adopted a “transparent kitchen” approach to manage its canteen, which has two floors and can accommodate 350 people at a time. The school now also staggers dining times and divides students into groups to avoid excessive queueing and to make meal times more orderly.

To gain firsthand insight into entrenched problems faced by China’s educational system, staff from the MOE Public Information Office visited Changtian Primary School in Guizhou province and the food supply distribution center for healthy student meals in Huishui county, and the Changshun County Fourth Middle School on June 28, to see how the Nutrition Improvement Plan for Rural Students in Compulsory Education was being implemented, as part of a communications campaign entitled “Education Endeavor 1+1”. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Staff at the distribution center wash and cut vegetables, which are then packed for cold storage and cool chain transportation. After being distributed to schools, these clean food ingredients are ready to be cooked, lessening the food management burden on schools and significantly reducing food safety risks. Established through open tenders, the center is responsible for the purchase, collection and distribution of food supplies. At 2 am every day, packages of fresh ingredients are loaded onto refrigerated trucks which then head out to 125 compulsory education schools. Since the Nutrition Improvement Plan was launched in 2012, the Huishui County has explored and established an effective food distribution model suited to local conditions. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

A canteen worker donning regulation wear cooking the pre-cut ingredients. The Changtian Primary School canteen employs 7 kitchen staff and 1 manager, who work as a team to offer nutritionally wholesome meals in a safe food environment. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Individual lunch trays prepared with a wholesome meal being distributed to Grade 1-2 pupils in the Changtian Primary School canteen. The food preparation process can be observed at any time by teachers and students. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Pupils tucking into their lunch at the Changtian Primary School canteen. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Grade 3 pupil coming for seconds at the Changtian Primary School canteen. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Changtian Primary School also teaches students basic canteen etiquette to equip them with healthy habits for the future. After lunch students wash their own trays. Kitchen staff then rewash all the trays and cutlery to meet with hygiene and safety criteria. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Changtian Primary School places a strong emphasis on moral education. At the canteen entrance, there is a large “thank you” board on the wall for children to post comments on school lunches and the impact of the Nutrition Improvement Plan on their life. These message stickers show their positive attitude and gratefulness. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

A 6th grader and a 2nd grader at the Changtian Primary School speak to a journalist in an interview. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]

Mr. Chen Xiaohong, canteen manager at the Changshun County Fourth Middle School, talks about measures introduced by the canteen team to implement the Nutrition Improvement Plan. Located 10 kilometers away from the county seat, the school has a 6,000 m2 canteen which is well equipped, and operates within a student-oriented management framework, providing wholesome meals and encouraging positive behavior. [Photo/Zhong Jianfen; Caption/Li Na]