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They've cooked up a good idea! EDUCATION: Youngsters back Government plans to help pupils learn cookery.

Byline: By Jasbir Authi

CITY pupils gave Government plans to introduce compulsory cooking lessons in schools the big thumbs-up.

From September, every 11-14 year-old in the 85 per cent of schools currently offering food technology classes will be taught practical cookery.

The remaining 15 per cent of secondaries will be expected to teach the compulsory classes by 2011.

Students at King Edward VI Girls' School, in Handsworth, said it was just as important to know how to cook a healthy meal as it is to solve equations and write essays.

Many also believed that they were learning other important life skills such as planning a budget, shopping wisely, preventing obesity and kitchen hygiene in food technology classes.

Year nine pupils Kirsty Evans and Hannah Wall have both clinched a prize in a Birmingham Healthy Tums competition on Monday.

Kirsty, aged 13, who had won over judges with her fruit fool, said: "Cooking lessons are important because they teach you how to look after yourself.

"My mum teaches me and my sister how to cook but I know girls who do not know how to cook or the simple stuff.

"This year we had to learn how to wash up and I thought people already knew how to do that but obviously not."

Hannah, also 13, said: "I learn most of my cooking at school because my mum and dad do all the cooking."

Year seven pupils agreed and were excited by Schools Secretary Ed Balls' plans.

Laura Henery, 11, said: "I was very excited when I heard we had food technology lessons as I really enjoy them."

Jasmeet Heran, 11, said: "I have never cooked at home, I have seen my mum do it but I can't cook a meal.

"I'm learning at school and it's really interesting."

Megan Nash, 12, said: "My mum's really good and I like to help her.

"People are happier when they have prepared the meals themselves because they think about what goes into it.

"We also learn about washing up, budgeting, hygiene and obesity."

CAPTION(S):

MAKING A MEAL OF IT... Kirsty Evans and, inset, Hannah Wall in their cookery lessons. Pictures: Dale Martin Photosales No.: DM220108COOKS-03
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 23, 2008
Words:363
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