JEJU, Nov.18 (Korea Bizwire) – Bringing instant food to school will be banned in all regions of Jeju Island starting next year, and a smartphone ban will be implemented in 2017.
The Jeju Education Office is taking extreme measures to lower the obesity rate of students, which is the highest in the nation, and improve their health.
There have been partial trials like this before, but this marks the first time that a local education office has taken charge. In the case of smartphones, opposition is expected, drawing the eye of the public towards the results.
The policy changes were listed in the ‘School Health Improvement Manual’ announced by the education office on November 17.
Following discussions with experts, education officials in Jeju drafted the manual, and after reflecting on the ideas publicized on the day of the announcement, the final draft will be confirmed and put into effect.
According to the manual, bringing instant food to school will be banned from all kindergarten, elementary schools, junior high schools and high schools. School snack bars will be closed or changed into ‘healthy snack bars’ in the long term.
Students will be required to walk or run at least one kilometer every day, including their commute to school, and programs for overweight students will be implemented to help them lose weight.
Smartphones will also be banned from school because they decrease physical activities and impede communication between friends.
The new policies will first be implemented on a mandatory basis at kindergarten and elementary schools, with junior high and high schools recommended to follow suit. The policies will be applied universally to all schools starting in 2017.
Through the new programs, the education office plans to lower the current obesity rate at kindergartens (22.5 percent), elementary schools (32.4 percent), junior high schools (33 percent) and high schools (37 percent) to 16 percent at kindergartens, 23 percent at elementary schools, 25 percent at junior high schools and 29 percent at high schools by 2020.
Officials also hope to lower the highest obesity rates in the nation to the national average by 2018, the lowest in the country by 2020, and to the average of advanced countries by 2025.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)