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Plans to Improve Mental, Physical Health of Students
People

Plans to Improve Mental, Physical Health of Students

The minister of education said the schedules of the plan to distribute milk in schools may vary from one province to another since contracts have been signed with different dairy companies.
Ali Asghar Fani, speaking with the press at a meeting to sign a MOU between the ministries of education and health, said “milk is provided to primary and junior high school students.” He promised to follow the case of schools where milk distribution is not yet implemented, Mehr News Agency reported.
To implement the scheme, the government has allocated $113 million (3000 billion rials) in lieu of subsidies. Another $56 million (1500 billion rials) from the education ministry’s budget has been set aside under the plan.  
Fani also commented on a program to improve food in school cafeterias: “The issue is to be addressed in a special workgroup, which will meet next month. Therefore the media can check within two months for the changes that will take place” in providing healthy food for school students, he asserted.

 Physical Activities
In response to a question on spaces in schools for students’ physical activities, Fani noted that most of the state schools are spacious and have big courtyards, but “some of the non-state and private schools deal with space problem.”  
He also said in order to boost extracurricular activity among students, the ministry’s physical education (PE) and health deputy has set some priorities such as holding inter and intra-school sport Olympiads, which was held for the first time this year with the participation of 3 million students.
On private schools, he said permission was required from the Organization of Schools Renovation, Development, and Mobilization for their establishment. “Thus all educational facilities are assessed in terms of space, security and hygiene,” he stressed.
 Depression
The education minister addressing reports on depression among students noted that three departments in the ministry work on extracurricular programs in schools: the cultural deputy, the PE and health deputy, and the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. This year the budget for these sections has become twelve-fold with new activities and priorities. “Thus, we hope to solve part of the problems.”
In reaction to concerns about the repetition of the fire incident in Shin Abad, Fani assured the media that over $75 million (2000 billion rials) are to be allocated on heating systems in schools country wide; although another $187 million in still needed to cover all schools.
He further said training programs for school teachers and staff were held last year to prevent such incidents in future.
He also said contrary to what some media have reported, Shin Abad students “face no problems and all facilities have been provided for them to continue their studies. Moreover, when travelling to Tehran for treatment, the affected children and their families are accommodated in the ministry’s guest houses free of cost and are given private tuition.”
He asked the media to provide “honest and authentic reports” on news regarding Shin Abad students.

 

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