Everyone knows that children’s health begins with good nutrition, especially in the developmental stages of preschool age, from 3 to 5 years old, where energy consumption is higher due to the amount of activities and learning. A varied diet rich in nutrients is essential for their growth.
However, in some cases, children attend full-day kindergartens, and their nutritional needs are the responsibility of educational institutions that are in charge of providing healthy food to infants.
Such is the case of children at a preschool in Shandong province, China, who were fed food containing maggots.
When the parents discovered what their children were eating, they immediately went to collect them from the kindergarten. In the rain, last June 30, the angry parents arrived at the preschool and broke down an iron gate to take their children away.
Parents commented that their children frequently had stomach pain and even vomited after eating the food from kindergarten.
One parent revealed on Weibo that 340 children between the ages of 2 and 6 were affected and called on the authorities to find a solution. Another parent said that officials do nothing; they just stay at their posts. The parents did not receive a response from the education system and are still waiting.
One dad also questioned the actions of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders when he saw the pictures of the meal with maggots. “What do the leaders think about those pictures?”. “Who should be responsible for the child’s future growth and development?”.
In addition, the parent commented that the educational establishment charged them $2.70 per day and asked where that money goes and if it has a particular use, “how will they compensate for the parents’ loss?” “Where will the child go if the school is closed?”.
The father also complained about the tests the institution performed on the children with unqualified personnel and that, as a consequence, the results reflected that they were abnormal. “How do they compensate for this?”.
In a video, the parents can be seen very distressed and even shouting angrily.
Another Twitter video shows police struggling with a mom to remove a sign she was protesting with and a man demanding a response from the officer.
The Muping District Education and Sports Bureau and the Market Oversight Bureau entered the Wharton Good Future kindergarten to conduct an investigation into the spoiled food, but on July 2, the “Muping District Joint Investigation Team” released its findings claiming that the food in question “was not given to the students.”
People on social media could not contain their anger. For example, a user on Weibo said, “just a bunch of bandits, bandits are worse, also make people call them good, disgusting! disgusting! … Cooking, not to eat, what for? Kindergarten chef use that food to practice cooking?”.
Lack of controls by the Office of Education in kindergartens
But it was not the only kindergarten to suffer from a lack of checks and monitoring by the CCP’s Education Bureau. Parents at Lanzhou’s New Town preschool reported finding rotten fruits and vegetables in the kindergarten’s back kitchen, and that many children were sick, according to Sina.
Unfortunately, parents need to be able to trust the educational institutions where they leave their children, considering not only good learning, but also care while working long hours in order to survive in a China mired in economic crisis.
There are public and private kindergartens in the Asian country, but since 2018 the CCP implemented a policy aimed at deepening the reform of preschool education and to create more institutions for infants, the Bureau of Education absorbed most of the private establishments into the state preschool system, leaving families with no options. Today, only a few private institutions remain, but they are extremely expensive for the average citizen.