RUSSIA EXPO

04.11.2023–08.07.2024 MOSCOW, VDNH

MOSCOW, VDNH
04.11.2023–08.07.2024

The People's Front and the Russian Ministry of Education will strengthen control over the quality of hot meals at schools

The People's Front and the Russian Ministry of Education will strengthen control over the quality of hot meals at schools
Expo News
Photo: Pavel Lisitsyn/RIA News
18.02.2024

At the RUSSIA EXPO, People's Front leader Mikhail Kuznetsov and Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov signed a cooperation agreement on the provision of free hot meals in the country's schools for elementary school pupils, which includes the creation of a separate coordination center for parents.

Regional coordination centers will be established in all regions of the country, and in some cases in municipalities. The coordination center will be composed of active parents. The People's Front will regularly collect feedback, transfer best practices, and, most importantly, put decisions on specific schools under people's control.

Head of the Ministry of Education of Russia Sergei Kravtsov thanked the People's Front for joint work and systematic support of the department.

"Thanks to cooperation with the People's Front, we are successfully implementing the project to provide elementary school students with free hot meals, promptly responding to the wishes of parents. The signing of today's agreement is a new stage of our cooperation in other areas, including the program of major repairs of schools and assistance to educational institutions in new regions of the country," said Sergei Kravtsov.

Photo: Ekaterina Chesnokova/RIA News

"Since 2017, a hotline of the People's Front on hot meals has been in place. In 2020, the President in his message instructed the Ministry of Education to provide all elementary school children with hot meals. The People's Front's information with a QR-code and a phone number one can call and express their wishes and complaints, if any, has been posted in 29,000 schools. Now there is an additional clause in the agreement related to the involvement of the parent community.  I am sure that the President's instruction will be fulfilled in the best possible way, and the People's Front will help to control it, help to give feedback and provide all the assistance so that our children are well-fed and satisfied," emphasized the Head of the Executive Committee of the People's Front Mikhail Kuznetsov.

Since 2020, the People's Front and the Ministry of Education have been keeping special control over the President's instruction to provide free hot meals to elementary school pupils: a hotline (8(800)200-04-11, https://pitanie.onf.ru) has been launched jointly, which receives about 100 complaints per week during the school period. In total, more than 8,000 complaints have already been received from parents. A joint operational headquarters works weekly with the Ministry, bringing together representatives of regional ministries to address acute and systemic issues. The People's Front carries out the function of reverse control - it fights to ensure that no problem is left unattended and is resolved.

According to statistics, since the beginning of the school year, the People's Front has received more than 100 appeals from parents every week. Complaints about poor organization of meals are the most common - almost 37% of applicants, 31% of parents complain about poor-quality food and almost 15% - about poor menu composition.

"Many issues can be resolved through dialog between the parents' committee and the school director, such as the duration of breaks and the composition of the menu. Through extensive experience and expertise, we will relay the most successful solutions and get feedback directly from parents on what is happening with school meals. As our surveys have shown, this is critical for parents. According to our data, more than 50% of parents of pupils are not ready to openly report about the problems with school meals because of the fear of sanctions against their children by the school administration or municipality," commented the Head of the Investigation Bureau of the People's Front Valery Alekseev.

He also noted that the People's Front acts as an independent platform in the matter of school meals and gives parents the opportunity to speak out without fear of repercussions from municipal authorities or, in some cases, schools, as it does not pass on data about the complainants.

In 2024, a separate block of cooperation with the Ministry of Education was introduced - it involves the questions received on the direct line of the President, more than 2.7 thousand appeals in total. Some of the issues have already been resolved, the rest are in the works.

For example, a complaint was received from Volgograd that the food was cold. Now the catering operator has provided more employees and additional carts for food distribution, tables are set five minutes before the bell rings. In Saransk, a grandmother complained about the quality of breakfasts and lunches. The child's parents were invited to conduct an independent tasting at a convenient time, and the operator strengthened control over food preparation at the school. Following several inspections, the complaint was withdrawn and the children and parents confirmed that the food was tasty.

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