4,000 pupils nationwide benefit from school meal programme
Published on: Tuesday, January 21, 2020
By: Bernama
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KUALA LUMPUR: About 4,000 poor and hardcore poor pupils in 100 primary schools across the country will benefit from the Enhanced Supplementary Food Programme (ESFP), which began Monday.

The programme is an enhancement to the Supplementary Food Programme (RMT) introduced by the Education Ministry (MOE) in primary schools nationwide since 1979.

Education director-general Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim said with over 20 nutritious menus under the Grab ‘n’ Go concept prepared by school canteens, the target group pupils will now get to enjoy healthy meals before lessons begin. 

“Meals are served between 7am to 7.30am for the morning session and 12.30pm to 2pm for the afternoon session.

“Previously, through the RMT, pupils were provided meals during recess. However, through this enhancement programme, we want to encourage pupils to have their meals before lessons begin for them to focus better in class,” she told a media conference after dropping by Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Seri Suria here today to check on the programme. 

Habibah said pupils were selected based on information obtained from the district education offices (PPD).

Citing SK Seri Suria as an example, she said 90 per cent of its pupils live at People’s Housing Project for the Hardcore Poor (PPRT) schemes. 

“Information from the PPDs is important to make sure the programme’s implementation is comprehensive,” she said.

Habibah said before implementation, schools would distribute forms to the parents to obtain information,  such as the right choice of diet for their children.

“We cannot just simply feed the pupils. The parents need to give their consent and we also need to know if their children are allergic to certain types of food,” she said.

Habibah gave the ministry’s assurance that the programme would be closely monitored by teachers. 

 “Food will be put in containers with the pupils’ names. Therefore, they will definitely receive their food. The container is also reusable,” she added.

On the programme’s estimated budget allocation of RM22 million, Habibah said it was adequate for the first phase, and was optimistic the pupils would get to enjoy nutritious meals with the right amount of calories based on their age as recommended by the Ministry of Health.

The ESFP programme in primary schools is the MOE’s latest initiative to provide nutritious meals based on caloric value ​​and balanced nutrition practices to ensure pupils consume healthy meals and practise healthy lifestyles to stimulate their growth. – Bernama


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