by Matea Perla R. Clet
This coming November 2 will be the implementation of the mandatory 5 day In person classes of all schools nationwide. And so the teachers together with their stakeholders are preparing everything to ensure the safety of our school children this coming full blast of face to face classes. One of the areas of concern will be the school and canteen operations. In compliance with DepEd Order No. 8 s. 2007 or The Revise Guidelines of the Operation and Management of School Canteen in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools it is clearly stated there that school canteens must either be school-managed or cooperative- managed. Further, sub- leasing of a part of the canteen as well as food vendors are strictly prohibited.
On the other hand, DepEd reiterates that there should be no disruption of classes and that teachers and students must not be found in the canteen, serving as canteen aides, but rather focus on nothing but the teaching-learning process. To do so, there were schemes that are thereby recommended for schools to implement such as hiring its own canteen personnel or a parent helper which both are required as much as possible to be fully vaccinated with booster shots. They will be then compensated from the income of the canteen.
Moreover, since the Covid-19 virus are not done yet and another variant is said to be out there, adherence to the prescribed health and safety protocols must still be observed. Overcrowding in canteens during the time of recess are strictly not allowed. Therefore, the school canteens were advised schedule staggered recess time by grade levels. Canteen operators must prepare and sells foods stated on DepEd No. 13 s. 2017 re: Policy and Guidelines on healthy Food and Beverage Choices in Schools and DepEd Offices where food is categorized under green, yellow or red category. The canteens were also advised to prepare this what we called “grab and go foods using paper boxes as possible.
Meanwhile, SDO Laguna had started adopting the concept of Honesty Store or Kantinang Tapat in schools. Whereas, it aims to teach students the importance of honesty by allowing them to buy and pay through a honesty system by dropping their payment into a container or box placed across the food that they wanted to purchase. It was also believed that this practice would help our students to do and learn simple math solving in giving their payments or having their change.