The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in Battambang is to establish a health education committee for schools at provincial and district levels.
The move comes as provincial governor Sok Lou has asked all schools to urgently review food hygiene and environmental issues in schools.
Lou was attending a meeting on strengthening the quality of education at the provincial level and the model for transferring the functions of pre-school and primary education to the district administration of Battambang province on July 26.
“Food hygiene and environmental issues are partly to blame for the decline in the number of exceptional students, with a number of students dropping out of school due to unclean food and an unsanitary environment. “, did he declare.
Provincial education department director Yi Songky said officials have just set up a health education office under the leadership of the ministry, with a school health education committee at the provincial and district levels in arrange.
“We have set up this committee to monitor food hygiene, food outlets and school canteens, and we have been working on this issue to keep students safe,” he told the Post on 27 July.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there had been cases of students fainting, Songky said, with some being due to students not having breakfast or not getting enough sleep, while others others were related to the consumption of food sold at school.
Phnom Penh Municipal Education Department Director Hem Sinareth told the Post that officials continue to monitor the sale of food in schools, in accordance with instructions from the education and health ministries and from the Phnom Penh municipal administration regarding food security.
“We continue to implement and monitor food safety, especially prohibited foods such as sugary foods or sugary drinks.
“The Department of Education has not slacked off. We are constantly monitoring this matter, particularly with regard to prohibited foods,” Sinareth said.
Department of Education spokesperson Ros Soveacha told the Post on July 27 that officials continue to give full attention to the health of students and education staff at all levels, in accordance with existing mechanisms.
“The ministry believes that banning the sale of the six types of food will help prevent food poisoning among students by calling for greater caution in selecting only foods that have positive health and growth benefits. intellectual,” Soveacha said.
The ministry urged teachers and school administrators to continue paying close attention to students’ health, which is a vital factor in learning, he added.
A team from the NGO Helen Keller International (Cambodia) collected data on healthy diets in 44 primary schools in provinces such as Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Ratanakkiri. The data is to be part of their research on healthy diets among elementary school students.
Research should provide comprehensive information for developing a strategy on individual and social attitude change to promote positive attitudes related to nutrients, especially healthy diets among schoolchildren, said Helen Keller International.
The study is a collaboration between the Department of Health Education, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Helen Keller International.
In May 2019, the Ministry of Education banned all public and private educational institutions from selling six main types of unhealthy food products.
These include expired foods; alcoholic beverages and tobacco products; foods without a clear source; unhealthy drinks such as energy drinks, sugary drinks and coffee; unhealthy foods like ice cream, chocolate, and chewing gum; and sugary foods like jelly, donuts and candy.