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September 9, 2021

Seminar on "School Lunch System" with Chisinau City, Moldova
- Introduction of "SHOKUIKU" concept in Japan -

On September 9th, 2021, JICA held an online seminar on the "school lunch system" in collaboration with Chisinau City Hall, the Republic of Moldova.

The main purpose of the seminar is to share Japan's System, knowledge and experience in the field of nutrition and school lunch system with relevant key staff in Chisinau City Hall. Around 100 participants from the Moldovan side consisting of the key staff from relevant section of Chisinau City Hall, public schools, kindergartens, combinate, etc. have participated in the seminar.

The event was commenced and moderated by Mr. Satoshi Sugimoto, Resident Representative of JICA Ukraine Office. The opening remark was delivered by Ms. Angela Cutasevici, Chisinau Deputy Mayor. Ms. Cutasevici mentioned that the improvement of school nutrition systems in schools and kindergartens in Chisinau is a key concern for the City Hall and therefore thanked JICA for the great opportunity which provides the opportunity to learn advanced systems from Japan.

Regarding the present situation, Mr. Andrei Pavaloi, Interim Chief of General Directorate of Education, Youth and Sports, Chisinau City Hall, briefly described key challenges that Chisinau City has been facing in the field.

After that, a presentation on the current public nutrition system in Chisinau was made by Ms. Coralia Babcenco, Specialist (Kids & Nutrition), General Directorate of Education, Youth and Sports. The presentation included the explanations of an overview of the system and its problems and challenges, which said that the reformation of the school lunch system has been one of the priorities for the past years, and thus efforts were made to analyze and find exact gaps and priorities to enable changes from the Soviet-type to modern systems. Food in educational institutions in Chisinau is provided by four combinates that provide food services based on the Model Menu prepared for 10 days and coordinated with the Public Health Center.

Based on her presentation, the modernization of the public nutrition system as seen by Chisinau Municipality has three key components:

  1. improvement of the quality of the nutrition (in terms of calories, quality and structure of the menu for kids, diversity of the products, quality of the monitoring system);
  2. improvement of the quality of the procurement and distribution processes (centralization of the procurement, modernization of the procurement mechanism in line with international standards and good practices, implementation in practice of the principle of "best value for money", modernization of the distribution and logistics and monitoring);
  3. promotion of healthy diets in public educational institutions.

Aspects to be improved in the public nutrition system in Moldova would include amongst others: the quality of the menus, a fairer and more sustainable procurement process, better monitoring and evaluation, constant evaluation of the impact of improved processes. Also, one of the things to pay attention to would be promoting healthy eating habits among kids, a measure that is overlooked in most cases by the government.

From the Japanese side, presentations were made by two lecturers. Firstly, Dr. Marika Nomura, Senior Advisor, JICA, talked about promoting a healthy diet for children by explaining relevant policies, laws, and measures including Japan's unique concept of "SHOKUIKU" (food and nutrition education).

Following the above, Ms. Manami Maruyama, Diet and Nutrition Teacher, Hananoki Primary School, made a presentation on an overview of Japanese School Lunch System. Ms. Maruyama introduced how Japan's school lunch system works including relevant laws, a procurement scheme, quality controls, menu planning, and so on. She also emphasized the importance of nutritional education, SHOKUIKU, at schools in Japan as explained by Dr. Nomura.

After the presentations, a Q&A session was held and a lot of questions were raised, especially about Japan's "SHOKUIKU" (food and nutrition education) by the representatives of the Moldovan side. All participants agreed that the event was a great opportunity to share knowledge and experience in both countries.

Lastly, closing remarks were made by Mr. Tomoya Yoshida, Deputy Director of Human Development Department, JICA. He said that JICA appreciated great efforts being made by the Moldovan side in reforming the school lunch system in the city of Chisinau and expressed its hope about strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

For further details on "SHOKUIKU", please visit the following link:
[JNL] Maternal and Child Nutrition and SHOKUIKU in Japan ~ for health and well-being of children ~ - YouTube (external link)

PhotoMs. Angela Cutasevici, Deputy Mayor, Chisinau City Hall

PhotoMr. Andrei Pavaloi, Chief, Gen. Directorate of Eucation, Youth and Sports, Chisinau City Hall

PhotoMs. Corolia Babcenco, Specialist, Gen. Directorate of Education, Youth and Sports, Chisinau City Hall

PhotoDr. Marika Nomura, Senior Adviror (Nutrition and Health), JICA

PhotoMs. Manami Maruyama, Diet and Nutrition Teacher, Hananoki Primary School, Nishio-City

PhotoMr. Satoshi Sugimoto, Resident Representative, JICA Ukraine

PhotoGroup photo


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