Nine kilograms of fruit are allocated per month for each student living in the Skopje dorms. Considering, for example, the fact that 4,000 kilograms of bananas were bought over a period of one year and divided by the number of students, it would appear that each student eats 1.5 kilograms of bananas per year, or only one banana per month. This was shown by the analysis of public procurement in the dormitories conducted by the Youth Educational Forum (YEF), with the support of the Open Society – Macedonia Foundation.
The study was attended by 300 students from “Kuzman Josifovski Pitu”, “Stiv Naumov” and “Goce Delcev” dorms. Each student canteen, according to figures obtained, turns out to be entitled to about 14 kg of pork or beef, or about 1.5 kg of meat per month. Students receive fruit yogurt two to three times a year, and according to the packages of sour milk, it turns out that one in three students is entitled to one serving of sour milk.
The purpose of this analysis was to show whether the budget allocated for the operation of student dormitories meets the needs of students.
– The State Student Dormitory (SSD) has an average of about 3.5 million euros it spends over 10 months. They are intended for student services, for salaries of employees and for smooth functioning of homes. DSD in the period 2015 – 2018 has signed 193 contracts with total value of 274 million denars, and 67 of the procurements relate to food. What needs to be done is to increase the resources of this center, but we should not only be held accountable for it, but also in the institutions that provide the money. There is a need for greater involvement of the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) and the Government to put the focus on student dormitories – says Petar Barlakovski of YEF.
Although according to the SSD rulebooks students live and eat in their homes for 10 months, the calculations in this study were made for nine months because it took into account the fact that the majority of students during the first and last month provided housing (September and June), do not live in the dorms for 30 days because they have no academic obligations during that entire period.
In addition to raising much more money to improve student standards, one of the recommendations at the end of the survey also states that SSD should be guided by the MES nutrition guidelines and allow students to participate in the creating of the menu.