Saving food to be an indicator in school performance assessment

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/20 23:43:22

A student picks up her meal at the canteen of Yinchuan No.9 High School in Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, March 25, 2020. File Photo: Xinhua

Education authorities in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province decided to set saving food as one of the important indicators to evaluate the performance of local schools, teachers and students, vowing to seriously punish schools if they are found to be wasting food. 

The move came after China launched a second "Clean Your Plate Campaign" which called for the public to stop wasting food. The first campaign in 2013 achieved significant results in curbing officials' extravagant feasts and receptions. 

Schools' performance in food-saving education will be included in their annual assessments. Those with outstanding performance will be honored while those who fail to carry out the work will be criticized and punished, according to a statement published by Xian's education bureau on Thursday. 

The statement did not specify what kind of punishment will be imposed. 

Schools will also need to formulate an evaluation method to assess students' performance in saving food. Their performance will be included in indicators that determine their comprehensive quality. 

The statement also required schools to set extracurricular activities for students, encouraging them to plant and make food by themselves so that they can enhance their awareness of diligence and thrift. 

The policy was widely supported by Chinese netizens who hailed local education authorities' efforts to say no to wasting food.

Some were worried the policy might lead to students starving themselves for the sake of saving food, but others said it just emphasizes the need to avoid waste as many students across the nation were found to eat only half a portion of food while dumping the rest.   

"It encourages students to develop the habit of only eating as much food as they need," said a Sina Weibo user. 

Apart from Xi'an, cities across the country are also taking different measures to avoid food waste. In a case that has gone viral online since Wednesday, a hotel in Luohe, Central China's Henan Province, specially set the role of a supervisor to see whether the hotel wastes food. 

The hotel also raised its assessment standard for waiters. If the leftover food rate surpasses 15 percent, waiters shall be penalized. 

In one example, the supervisor, Zhang Yun, told the local media that he found the chef cut out too large a bit of chicken. 

Meanwhile, a restaurant in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province on Friday came up with the idea to prevent customers from ordering too much by placing weighing scales at the door. The restaurant made a list of orders matched to body weight. Customers can weigh themselves on the scales and order food according to the recommendations.

As the campaign has been carried out intensively nationwide, Chinese observers cautioned that the campaign should not turn out to be formalistic. Rather than just doing it mechanically, catering enterprises should understand the call to save food, and pay attention to solid action, they said. 

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