Wed | May 27, 2020

Sweet 'til it sour

Published:Wednesday | January 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM


As a parent and school administrator, I fully support the ban on sugary drinks. However, I am disheartened by the lack of preparation on all fronts. At best, the information was presented in a piecemeal way, and one was left to put the puzzle together, accurately or not.

Schools were informed from last academic year that sugary drinks would have been banned, yet the only alternatives given then were plain and flavoured water. Let's be practical, the average child is stimulated by colour and taste, and certainly not concerned about non-communicable diseases. That's a reality. The matter of affordability is another potent factor. Thus, our approach must be collaborative, with heavy infusions of creativity, applicability, and communication.

If full buy-in is expected, then ALL stakeholders must be provided with the requisite information, in a clear and concise way.

The misguided idea that school administrators should police school vendors is a dangerous one, especially in the urban inner-city schools, where survival and 'eating a food' is a daily mantra. Get them involved! They have more power then we give them credit for. They have a captive clientele.




I am of the opinion that the drink manufacturers had sufficient time to make the requisite changes, but like everything else, the last-minute effort was more attractive. At this point, I am still awaiting words from several suppliers on the way forward. This is after agitating since the last school year.

Not to be left out, fellow school administrators. Those with the Chicken Little syndrome - the sky is falling! Yes, our bottom line will be affected at the onset. But many waited until the ninth hour to organise themselves, and educate their school populace, if it was done any at all.

Clearly, what is a good thing has become mired in confusion, because we failed to share the vision in an inclusive manner. Guess who will have to wipe the slates clean?

Aretha P. Willie

Principal, George Headley

Primary School