School meals and clothing


Boyesen, E.T.

14th International Conference on Public Education, Geneva International Bureau of Education Publication 128: 1-5

1951


A general survey of school meals, including snacks and milk, is followed by information, supplied by the Ministries of Education of 43 countries, on the organization, finance and extent of school meals services, with some details of the type of meals provided.

Unesco
I.B.E./
211,
1951
UNITED
NATIONS
EDUCATIONAL
SCIENTIFIC
AND
CULTURAL
ORGANIZATION
INTERNATIONAL
BUREAU
OF
EDUCATION
FOURTEENTH
INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE
ON
PUBLIC
EDUCATION
SCHOOL*
MEALS
AND
CLOTHING
Report
presented
by
Dr.
E.T.
BOYESEN
Delegate
of
Norway.
1
The
problem
of
school
meals
and
clothing
facilities,
which
is
an
item
on
the
agenda
of
the
XlVth
International
Conference
on
Public
Education,
should
be
considered
under
two
headings.
It
is,
cn
the
one
hand,
complementary
to
tho
question,
also
on
the
agenda,
of
compulsory
education
and
its
prolongation.
From
the
point
of
view,
on
the
other
hand,
of
one
element
in
social
aid
to
schoolohiliren„
it
can
be
regarded
as
the
first
of
a
series
of
ploblems
connected
with
other
auxiliary
school
services.
Considered
from
the
point
'of
view
of
compulsory
education,
school
meals
and
clothing
facilities
often
appear
absolutely
necessary
for
the
full
application
of
compulsory
education
provisions.
The
inquiry
into
compulsory
education
and
its
prolongation
has
given
ample
evidence
that
compulsory
education
not
only
must
be
free,
but
that
other
measures,
particularly
of
a
practical
social
kind,
must
also
be
taken,
in
order
to
mate
education
really
and
truly
aooessible
to
all
children.
There
are
many
parents
who
are
unable
to
send
their
children
to
school
adequately
clothed
and
nourished;
many
children
live
too
far
from
school
to
be
able
to
get
home
for
the
mid-day
meal,
and
many
are
obliged
to
begin
at
an
early
ago
to
help
their
parents
in
the
fields
or
at
home.
In
cases
like
these,sohool
meals
and
clothing
facilities
may
be
regarded
as
means
that
compensate
for
the
burden
that
compulsory
education
may
impose
upon
the
family.
Considered
as
an
element
in
social
aid,
on
the
other
hand,
school
meals
and
clothing
facilities
are
also
of
great
importance
in
the
lived
of
children
and
adolascents.
The
meals
provide
the
young
with
nourishment
which
often
compensates
for
an
inadequate
or
unbalanced
diet,
demonstrates
to
them
the
value
of
good
food
habits,
and
perhaps
in
the
long
run
even
influences
the
choice
of
healthy
articles
of
food
in
their
families.
The
clothing
facilities
give
protection
against
the
vagaries
of
the
weather,
when
parents
find
difficulties
in
clothing
their
children
adequately.
School
meals
and
clothing
facilities
are
thus
necessary
from
two
points
of
view.
They
are
neoessary
as
a
social
service
which
is
both
an
end
in
itself,
and
also
a
means
to
the
full
application
of
compulsory
education
provisions.
That
less
attention
is
given
in
the
International
Bureau
of
Education
inquiry
to
clothing
facilities
than
to
school
meal
services,
is
due
to
the
fact
that
clothing
facilities
are
often
the
responsibility
of
non-scholastic
social
services,
and
that
the
number
of
children
who
benefit
from
them
is
often
limited
to
those
who
come
from
families
of
restricted
means.
2
ORGANILTION
AND
FINANCE
The
International
Bureau
of
Education
inquiry
clearly
shows
how
great
are
the
endeavours
made
in
the
forty—three
countries,
in
connection
with
school
meals
and
clothing
facilities.
It
also
reveals
how
muuh
what
is
achieved
depends
on
available
financial
resources,
possibilities
of
installation,
and
local
conditions.
The
extent
to
which
these
services
are
realised
is
thus
by
no
means
uniform.
Except
in
rare
cases
where
the
government
itself
organises
the
services
throughout
the
country,
the
role
of
the
government
is
generally
limited
to
taking
the
necessary
legislative
measures,
to
issuing
general
instructions
and
directives,
and
to
making
grants,
the
actual
operation
of
the
services
being
loft
to
local
bodies
which
are
better
able
to
adapt
themselves
to
regional
needs
and
customs.
In
a
number
of
countries,
moreover,
the
initiative
is
not
taken
at
national
level,
and
school
meals
and
clothing
facilities
are
built
up
as
the
nee.",
for
them
arises,
in
a
given
commune,
branch
of
education,
or
individual
school,
by
local
authorities,
headmasters,
public
committees
or
charitable
associations.
Such
a
system
has
the
advantage
of
appealing
more
directly
to
public
interest,
but
has
one
definite
disadvantage,
that
of
the
discontinuous
and
sporadic
nature
of
the
efforts
made,
with
the
result
that
certain
less
favoured
regions
are
deprived
of
adequite
services.
So
far
as
the
source
of
funds
is
concerned,
it
appears
that
the
expenses
entailed
in
school
meals
and
clothing
facilities
are
generally
shared
by
the
government
on
the
one
hand,
and
the
communes
and
local
bodies
and
personalities
on
the
other.
The
children
are
also
often
required
to
contribute
something
towards
the
cost
of
school
meals,
but
not
towards
that
of
clothing,
which
is
more
severely
restricted
to
necessitous
children.
ACCOMMODATION
Apart
from
the
financial
problem,
the
accommodation
needed
for
the
rational
operation
of
canteens
raises
the
problem
of
school
buildings,
and
it
is
in
this
field
in
particular
that
we
see
the
most
varying
solutions
adopted.
While
it
is
relatively
easy
to
provide
in
recently
constructed
buildings
for
the
installation
of
kitchens
and
refectories,
it
is
difficult
vdere
only
old
buildings
are
available
in
which
no
space
has
been
specially
reserved.
Among
the
solutions
adopted
where
it
is
not
possible
--
3
-
to
consider
making
an
ideal
installation,
we
may
quote
the
renting
of
premises
near
the
school,
the
organisation
of
central
kitchens,
and
the
provisional
erection
of
prefabricated
buildings.
In
small
isolated
localities,
where
the
available
accommodation
is
clearly
insufficient,
goodwill
and
devotion
on
the
part
of
the
teacher
or
of
private
individuals
very
frequently
provide
valuable
help.
Such
solutions
must,
however,
be
considered
as
purely
temporary;
the
school
meals
services
have
not
only
a
social
but
also
an
educational
aim,
and
must
provide
a
real
background
for
lessons
on
nutrition.
Provision
should
thus
be
made,
at
least
in
new
buildings,
for
special
accommodation
equipped
in
accordance
with
hygienic
principles
and
operational
needs.
RECIPIENTS
The
extent
to
which
social
assistance
to
school
children
is
effective
is
primarily
reflected
in
the
number
of
reoipients;
the
numerical
data
which
it
has
been
pagible
to
collect
are
not,
however,
always
based
on
comparable
information
and
no
absolute
value
should
be
given
to
them.
If
one
takes
into
account
the
fact
that
many
services
organised
on
a
local
basis
are
not
included
in
national
statistics,
nor,
consequently,
in
the
data
of
the
inquiry,
it
may
be
assumed
that
the
actual
number
Of
recipients
is
greater
than
that
indicated
in
the
inquiry
conducted
by
the
International
Bureau
of
Education.
The
efforts
made
by
the
organisers
appear
to
be
addressed
chiefly
to
children
at
the
primary
level,
which
shows
clearly
that
food
and
clothing
supplied
by
the
school
are
considered
an
essential
measure
to
ensure
the
observance
of
compulsory
schooling.
The
inquiry
shows
a
clear
distinction
between
school
meals
serg.coo
and
clothing
facilities,
when
the
categories
of
children
benefitting
from
these
social
services
are
considered.
The
clothing
facilities
are
strictly
limited
to
the
children
from
families
of
restricted
means,
while,
in
the
case
of
school
meals
services,
several
other
factors
are
taken
into
consideration
in
selecting
recipients,
such
as
distance
from
school,
absence
of
the
mother
from
the
home
owing
to
her
work,
the
state
of
health
of
the
child,
and
no
less
important
the
need
to
give
children
rational
feeding
habits.
The
last
mentioned
factor,
together
with
the
educational
aims,
such
as
lessons
in
hygiene
and
good
manners,
social
contacts,
or
domestic
science
lessons
for
young
girls,
is
certainly
the
underlying
factor
in
the
very
definite
tendency
to
make
school
canteens
open
to
all
pupils,
without
distinctions
of
any
kind.
Once
the
principle
of
non-discrimination
has
been
adopted,
the
question
of
free
school
meals
naturally
arises,
and
it
is
through
this
principle
that
canteens
already
supply
free
meals
in
several
countries
to
all
children
who
wish
to
avail
themselves
of
them.
The
school
meal
in
this
way
entirely
loses
its
charitable
character.
Nevertheless,
the
financial
question
plays
too
important
a
part
for
some
contribution
on
the
part
of
the
pupil
always
to
be
dispensed
with.
Families
with
means
are
generally
asked
for
some
contribution
to
expenses,
while
meals
are
supplied
to
necessitous
children
free
of
charge,
or,
in
order
to
avoid
hurting
their
feelings,
in
return
for
a
very
small
and
purely
nominal
sum.
ASSISTANCE
The
school
canteen
does
not
always
provide
a
real
meal;
frequently,
it
is
no
more
than
a
simple
snack,
a
distribution
of
milk
or
tonics
(generally
cod-liver
oil),
especially
when
the
difficulties
are
such
that
it
is
not
possible
to
consider
having
complete
installations.
Where
it
is
possible
to
prepare
hot
meals,
however,
the
type
of
food
reflects
not
only
the
country's
feeding
traditions,
but
also
its
agricultural
production
and
geographical conditions.
It
the
directives
governing
the
composition
of
school
meals
are
examined,
it
beoomes
apparent
that
.
taechief
is
to
provide
a
child
not
only
with
a
supplement
to
his
ordinary
food,
but
mere
especially
to
ensure
thdlt
he
shall
hage
the
necessary
elements
to
balance
what
is
frequently
empirical
nourishment;
thus
it
is
not
only
the
calorific
content
which
is
considered
essential,
but
the
proportion
of
so-called
"body-building"
or
"protective"
foods; hence,
we
find
very
precise
instructions,
drawn
up
by
the
nutrition
experts,
and
laying
down
very
accurately
the
content
of
each
meal
in
vitamins,
fats,
protein,
etc.
The
"Oslo
breakfast",
devised
by
the
late
Norwegian
professor
of
hygiene,
Carl
Schi8tz,
proposes
a
rational
formula
which
has
the
additional
advantage
that
it
requires
no
heat
fox
its
preparation,
which
may
facilitate
the
task
of
the
ogganisers
when
it
proves
impossible
to
install
a
kitchen.
As
regards
assistance
i
the
form
of
school
clothing,
the
chief
concern
is
to
provide
the
children
with
protection
against
cold,
and
here
we
find
chiefly
underclothes,
suits,
socks
and
shoes.
Since,
as
was
said
above,
such
items
are
intended
solely
for
distribution
to
needy
children,
it
would
appear
to
be
-5-
indispensable,
even
more
than
in
relation
to
canteens,
to
avoid
in
any
way
hurting
the
children's
self—respect.
It
is
there—
fore
advisable
to
proceed
with
a
certain
caution
and
to
ensure
that
clothing
from
the
school
clothing
store
does
not
noticeably
differ
from
that
normally
worn
by
the
other
children.
Finally,
I
want
to
point
out
in
particular
that,
as
far
as
school
meals
services
are
concerned,
there
is
developing
an
increasing
realisation
of
their
full
meaning.
In
their
first
developmental
phase,
school
meals
services
are
closely
aGoocint,ed
with
ch,n%'
work
and
ideals.
It
is
a
child's
condition
that
decides
whether
he
may
benefit
from
the
services
or
not.
In
several
countries
the
charitable
character
of
the
school
meals
services
has
gradually
disappeared.
In
some
countries
all
children
who
so
desire
have
free
access
to
the
meals.
At
the
same
time,
the
active
coll-
-
)boTation
between
medical
experts
in
hygiene
and
the
school
authorities
has
resulted
in
definitely
protective
and
more
correctly
balanced
meals.
The
educational
aspect
of
school
meals
services
is
also
becoming
increasingly
clear.
The
meals
should,
of
course,
strengthen
a
child's
physique
and
make
him
better
able
to
profit
from
the
education
offered
him;
but
the
school
meals
services
should
also
teach
him
good
food
habits
and
table
manners,
and
develop
him
socially;
they
should
even
form
a
link
in
the
instruction
given
in
school.
This
brief
summary
is
merely
intended
to
stimulate
discussion
on
the
problems
which
arise
in
practice.
This
discussion
will
serve
as
a
basis
for
the
recommendation
which
the
Conference
will
b
called
on
to
formulate
in
orderthat
school
meals
service;.
and
clothing
facilities
may
develop
in
the
best
direction.
4