Jennifer D. Ramos
Teacher III, TLE Department
Masbate National Comprehensive High School
Cleanliness and organization are paramount in all aspects of life particularly in educational settings. In Masbate National Comprehensive High School (MNCHS) especially the department of Technical Livelihood Education (TLE), specifically in cookery classes, maintaining cleanliness is crucial not only for the health and safety of students but also for the development of proper culinary skills.
In cookery classrooms, the primary concern is to hygienically prepare everything most specially that students come into contact with various food items, tools, utensils, and equipment. Proper hand hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause foodborne illnesses. Handwashing facilities provide students with easy access to clean water and soap, enabling them to maintain proper hand hygiene before, during, and after food preparation. Promoting hygiene through hand washing facilities instills a sense of responsibility and cleanliness, which can carry over into other areas of students’ lives.
In the sense of contamination prevention, it is also a must to put up handwashing facilities. Cookery classes involve handling raw ingredients, such as meat, poultry, and vegetables, which can carry pathogens. Handwashing facilities act as a barrier against cross-contamination, ensuring that students’ hands are thoroughly cleaned after handling raw ingredients. This prevents the transfer of harmful microorganisms to other surfaces, utensils, or prepared food. By emphasizing the importance of hand washing, students learn to prioritize food safety, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses both in the classroom and beyond.
Moreover, introducing handwashing facilities in cookery classrooms establishes a foundation for lifelong habits of cleanliness and hygiene. Students who are exposed to proper hand hygiene practices at an early age are more likely to carry these habits into adulthood, leading to improved personal hygiene and overall health. By integrating hand washing facilities into the learning environment, schools demonstrate the importance of cleanliness and provide students with the necessary tools to maintain hygiene throughout their lives.
Cleanliness and organization contribute to a positive and conducive learning environment. Handwashing facilities promote a sense of responsibility and discipline among students, as they learn to prioritize cleanliness and maintain a tidy workspace. A clean and organized cookery classroom enhances students’ focus and concentration, allowing them to fully engage in the learning process and develop their culinary skills.
To ensure that these benefits of having a functional handwashing facility be more accessible to students of MNCHS, the author organized an income-generating project with her students entitled Project Mine to Wins. Through this project, officers and members of Student Technologists and Entrepreneurs of the Philippines (STEP) sell pre-loved items online. While developing their entrepreneurial skills and marketing capabilities, they generated a total amount of almost twenty-five thousand pesos (Php 25,000) which was used to construct a handwashing facility in TLE Building 3 of MNCHS contributing to the greater realization of WaSH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) in Schools which is more commonly referred to as WinS. Hence, the project is aptly named Mine to WinS. This would be contributory to the practice of proper hygiene not only for the Cookery students but for all the students occupying the said building. Additionally, it will promote the constant washing of hands to prevent the spread of viruses and germs.
In general, the relevance and essentiality of producing hand washing facilities in cookery classrooms cannot be overstated. By promoting hygiene, preventing contamination, developing lifelong habits, and fostering a positive learning environment, these facilities play a crucial role in ensuring the health, safety, and success of TLE students.
Providing students with easy access to clean water and soap instills a sense of responsibility and cleanliness that extends beyond the classroom.
It is imperative for educational institutions to prioritize the inclusion of hand washing facilities in cookery classrooms, as they contribute to the holistic development of students and empower them to lead healthy and hygienic lives, now and in the years to come.