MIRI: Ten primary schools in Sarawak are expected to be part of the first batch of 100 schools nationwide to implement free breakfast programme (PSP) on Jan 20, next year, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
According to him, the list for the schools in Sarawak that will be part of the first batch to implement PSP will be finalised by the Ministry of Education (MOE) within this week.
“I have contacted the Ministry of Education and they have confirmed that the Ministry is finalising the list for the schools in Sarawak that will be part of the first batch of schools under the free breakfast programme.
“This will be finalised within this week,” he said in a statement on his Facebook account today.
The statement came after the Sarawak Education Department director Dr Azhar Ahmad said they have yet to receive any circular from the MOE pertaining to this programme.
Miri MP Dr Micheal Teo Yu Keng said he learnt that this programme was postponed due to funds constraints.
To note, MOE was given the biggest allocation of RM64.1 billion in Budget 2020, including RM 1.6 billion under this supplementary food programme to benefit some 2.7 million primary school students nationwide next year.
The MOE had on December 27, announced that the first phase of PSP will be implemented on Jan 20, next year, at 100 primary schools nationwide.
It said the cost of the project, involving 37,000 pupils and 1,600 teachers on duty daily, is estimated at RM22 million.
The ministry also said the implementation of the first phase of PSP will use the concept of Grab ‘n’ Go which is made up of a milk drink or nutritious drink and snacks such as bread, biscuits, cereal, kuih, sandwich, fruits or hard-boiled eggs.
It said the selection of schools for the first phase was made based on schools with the highest percentage of students from the B40 group and it also took into consideration all types of schools namely national primary schools (SK), Chinese national-type primary schools (SJKC) and Tamil national-type primary schools (SJKT).
The MOE said the selection of schools was based on the total number of schools carrying out Supplementary Food Programme (RMT) in each state encompassing all locations, be it urban, rural and interior.
“The implementation also took into consideration the views of the Health Ministry which will allocate a nutrition science officer to each district to advise the schools on PSP menu.”
However, the ministry said permission of parents is required to obtain consent and important information on the health of pupils such as allergy to certain food so that alternative menu is provided.
The MoE said it is also planning to extend the programme to all 7,776 primary schools to benefit about 2.7 million students throughout the country.
However, it said the programme depended on the allocation received and the readiness of canteen operators and schools.