Beginning January 2020, primary school students across Malaysia will have free breakfast meals every morning
The new programme was announced by Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik in a Facebook post on Monday, 26 August.
"The Ministry of Education Malaysia is very concerned about students' nutritional consumption and is constantly mobilising various initiatives to ensure that our children are always filled with nutritious foods," the statement read.
The 'Program Sarapan Percuma' (PSP) is expected to benefit 2.7 million students across Malaysia
In a fact sheet posted on Facebook, the Education Minister explained that primary-level students in both national schools and government-aided schools will be included under this programme.
"Preschool and high school students are not included in this programme and foods for preschool students follow a different set of regulations," he explained.
Dr Maszlee explained that the programme will use the same methods as the current Supplementary Food Programme (also known as 'Rancangan Makanan Tambahan')
"This breakfast will be served by canteen operators in every participating school," he explained.
PSP is expected to run at the following times:
- 30 minutes between 7am to 8.30am for morning sessions,
- an hour between 12pm to 4pm for afternoon sessions.
A pilot project for PSP is already underway at several schools. It began in early August 2019 and is expected to end in October 2019.
While the costs of running the project are still being calculated, the MOE will ensure that all students will have quality meals
"The process of determining the menu for PSP was done through discussions with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and nutrition experts at various local universities," explained Dr Maszlee.
Additionally, a special committee will be established to discuss the programme's budget in detail, including the suggestion to use the sugar tax income to fund the programme.