Posted 12 Jul 2013 by Walaa Idris
I think the new plans that all primary school pupils could receive free lunches, sit and eat them together is a fantastic proposition. And no, that is not being socialist or liberal, condescending to parents or wasting government resources. It simply makes good common sense.
Primary education is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s the first, basic teaching where crucial learning begins – or should. Simply put it’s the most important teaching of any child’s life and a vital time to set the foundation for a sound education to build on for the future.
As we all know, eating and meals do more than just nourish our body giving it the nutrients it needs to prepare it and our minds to learn. They are also a social setting for studying basic socialising habits. While some might say that is the parents’ domain – and I would agree with them. It is nonetheless an important time to learn the basic fundamentals of mixing with others. Similar to other learning, it can start at school and like homework get practiced, polished and honed at home.
Meal time can also allow teachers and educators to observe students at an early stage in a non-teaching setting which could help them with identifying learning issues that might be missed in a classroom setting. Thus allowing them to spot and consequently address any potential challenges.
I also like the idea of banning kids from leaving school grounds during lunch time. As it minimises truancy, disruption to students and other businesses in the area, plus it increases safety and security.
Most critics will see this proposal as government interfering and overreaching its boundaries but it should be seem for what it is. A fantastic opportunity, that allows children from all backgrounds develop positive socialising habits from a very early age.