Children in a primary school in southern Germany are encouraged to chew gum as the school authorities believe that it helps to improve grades.
"Chewing gum is good for the children's health and improves their cognitive performance," said Wolfgang Ellegast from the education ministry in Bavaria, home to the Volkenschwand school where the new pilot project is being run.
AdvertisementSchool headmaster Siegfried Lehr agrees: "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."
Chewing gum is also good for dental health, particularly after meals when it is not possible to brush your teeth, organisers said.
But it is not anarchy. According to a "firm agreement" with teachers, the children must keep their mouths closed while chewing -- except for when speaking, of course -- and properly dispose of the gum.
To this end, each desk equipped with a special container decorated by the children themselves with bees, ladybirds, snails and the like in partnership with a local artist.