"It is time to start real educational reform based on improvement of school time and development of canteens" (Hatem Ben Salem) | Tunisia News Gazette

“It is time to start real educational reform based on improvement of school time and development of canteens” (Hatem Ben Salem)

“It’s time for a real revolution in the education system,” Education Minister Hatem Ben Salem said Friday at a conference on “school feeding and its role in school and social integration” .

“Educational reform is a societal and civilisational project that needs to be developed in a consensual way,” he added.

According to the Minister, the reform should be based on the regularisation of school time by instituting the model of the single session which continues until 3 p.m. to devote the rest of the afternoon to educational, cultural, sports and leisure activities .

“Among the foundations of the reform, services provided in school restaurants that are currently under expectations must be improved,” he said. The State mobilises an amount of 42 million dinars for school feeding, knowing that the cost of a single menu at the primary level is estimated at 300 millimes, he said.

Hatme Ben Salem noted that the ministry is working to improve the quality of meals and ensure a balanced and healthy menu for all students regardless of their social class.

For her part, Maria Lukyanova, representative of the World Food Programme (WFP) said that Tunisia provides food to 240 thousand students spread over 2,500 schools, an average of 1,500 meals per day.

“The WFP, in coordination with the Tunisian State, is working to guarantee a school meal that covers 30 to 40% of nutritional needs based on fresh and traditional products, particularly in rural areas, by helping rural women sell their products to achieve financial independence and at the same time serve schoolchildren, “she said. 30% of the components of the meal are purchased from rural women, she said.

For his part, representative of the Italian cooperation agency Flavio Lovisolo recalled that the agency has signed two conventions with Tunisia, WFP and the United Nations Children’s Fund to promote school life in Tunisia.

He added that the Italian agency has mobilised a sum of 20 million Euros (about 60 million dinars) to improve school transportation and develop school restaurants.

Organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, WFP and the Italian Cooperation Agency, the conference aims to bring together all the actors in the system of school food to exchange views and strengthen cooperation between different stakeholders to ensure effective management of resources.

Source: TAP News Agency

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