Government • 11 April, 2019

It is planned to provide free hot meals to students from large families from September 2019

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Deputy head of the capital’s Department of Education, Dulat Zhekebayev, told how school canteens are checking the quality and cost of food in an exclusive interview for

Zhekebayev informed that in the capital of Kazakhstan, grades 1-4 are fully provided with free hot meals.

“Also, certain categories of students in grades 5-11 are provided with free hot meals. In addition, all schools are catering at the expense of parents. From September 2019, on the initiative the city Akim Bakhyt Sultanov, it is planned to provide free hot meals for children from large families,” Zhekebayev noted.

The speaker also said that parents of students can take part in monitoring school meals, and also be a member of the school rejection committee. To be included it is enough to contact the school management.

“The commission includes at least 10 parents, a social worker and a health worker from school. They enter the kitchen and check the quality of the products, monitor the quality of cooking, weigh and compare — how much should be according to the menu, and how much meals actually weigh. Commission members have the right to require relevant documents for all food products. Each product must have a certificate in order to check the quality and prevent poisoning,” said Zhekebayev.

In addition, from Sep. 1, 2019, all schools in the capital will be provided with video surveillance, which will be installed not only in the canteens themselves, but also at the place of preparation — in the workshop and in the kitchen.

“Since 2019, in order to facilitate this work, we have already installed video surveillance in 30 schools, and by Sep. 1, we plan to install it in all schools in the city. Some schools use mobile applications through which they are recorded and displayed on the monitor, and the parent, bringing the child to school in the morning, has the right to see the process of cooking. The Rejection Commission can now conduct inspections through video surveillance,” Zhekebayev said.

He also stressed that the quality of food in schools is still checked by another commission — the city's Inter-Agency Expert Group, established by order of the Department of Education. The commission includes representatives of various departments. These are deputies, non-governmental organizations, parties, the parent community.

“This group goes to schools selectively. The first thing that the Interdepartmental Expert Group at Schools draws attention to is the work of the school refusal commission, record keeping, school meals, provision of ecological clean drinking water, and compliance of the diet with uniform standards and sanitary requirements. At the same time, we repeatedly say that those who have a sanitary book come into the kitchen,” Zhekebayev explained.

The third control body is the Department of Public Health. If the first two bodies are endowed with more monitoring functions, then the Department of Public Health is only involved when violations of health regulations are detected. It is the representative of the Department that has the authority to inspect, impose penalties, and bring to administrative responsibility.

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