Visakhapatnam: The efforts of the Central Board of Secondary Education to keep school children away from junk food has not been successful as school authorities have ignored the board’s guidelines.
The board had directed affiliated schools to inspect the lunch box of the students so as to ensure that they did not bring junk food. It had asked the school canteens to stop selling junk food items like chips, carbonated drinks, ready-to-eat noodles, pizzas, burgers, and confectionery items like chocolates and candies.
Many CBSE schools are openly flouting the guidelines. During a reality check, a canteen run at the premises of a renowned school in MVP Colony was found displaying varieties of potato chips and chocolates.
The situation was no different in other schools. When asked, the school authorities said they sometimes failed to monitor the canteens run by private players on the school premises.
Some schools claimed they discouraged students from consuming junk food and inspected their lunch boxes as per guidelines. But the students say it was never done so far.
“Teachers just say not to eat junk food and bring home-made food, but never checked our tiffin boxes. So, we bring whatever we feel like eating,” said Akash, a student of Class III.
“We explain to students about the ill-effects of junk food and inspect lunch box sometimes as it is not practically possible to do so always. Without the cooperation from parents, it is not possible to adhere to the guidelines,” said a school principal, requesting anonymity.
Educationist Narava Prakasa Rao said the CBSE should monitor the schools to see if they were implementing the rules instead of simply issuing guidelines.
It is also seen that students soon after the school hour relish unhealthy street food like pani puri, chaat and fried items due to mushrooming of eateries very near to schools.