Free breakfast for primary school children nationwide from next January

PETALING JAYA: A free breakfast will be provided for all primary school children beginning January next year, says Dr Maszlee Malik.

The Education Minister said his ministry cares about the pupils' diet and always push forward various incentives to ensure the children have access to nutritious food.

"Our children need a precise eating schedule and balanced eating habits to ensure that they continue to stay healthy and active, while they stay focused in their studies every day," he said in a statement on Monday (Aug 26).

"Therefore, beginning January 2020, the Education Ministry will launch the free breakfast programme for pupils in primary schools nationwide.

"Through this programme, the children will be provided with a tasty breakfast based on a healthy menu, and it is free," Dr Maszlee added.

He said that the ministry will continue to look into an avenue to ensure that children will attend school feeling happy.

The statement made by Dr Maszlee on his Facebook page did not indicate if the free breakfast programme would replace the Supplementary Food Programme (Rancangan Makanan Tambahan/ RMT) for school children who are from hardcore poor families.

In 1979, under the Barisan Nasional administration, the Education Ministry carried out the RMT programme.

Under this programme, school children in Peninsular Malaysia will be provided food worth RM2.50 per day for 190 days per year, while those in Sabah and Sarawak will be provided food worth RM3 per day for 190 days in a year.

In 2018, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said the ministry has allocated a total of RM289mil for the RMT.

She was reported saying that while RM250mil would be used to provide food to pupils, the remaining RM39mil would be used to supply milk or other foods.

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