A Bavarian primary school is encouraging pupils to chew gum in class in an attempt to improve their grades. Wolfgang Ellegast from the Education Ministry in the southern German state, says children at the Volkenschwand school are being allowed to chew gum because it "is good for the children's health and improves their cognitive performance".
Hans Dasch, the school's headmaster, said no one was being forced to chew gum. "But it helps the children concentrate and deal with stress, particularly during written tests", he said.
"The prerequisite for learning with fun is that kids come to school without fear and that they feel happy ... Therefore we are encouraging them to chew gum in break and in lessons."
Organisers of the pilot scheme also argue that chewing gum is good for dental health, particularly after meals. In order to avoid gum being stuck to the bottom of seats however, each desk has a special container decorated by the children.