Points to ponder over free breakfast programme

TK Chua

Modified 28 Aug 2019, 3:06 am

LETTER | I refer to the free breakfast programme which will be provided to all primary school children beginning January next year.

I believe this is a good programme that should be supported. However, there are a number of points that the Education Ministry must take cognisance with.

First, why provide breakfast for all pupils? I believe there are students who do not need this. Providing something they do not need is a waste of resources and government allocation.

I think it is better to ask the students to exercise their choice. Give them the option to opt out if they do not need the breakfast provided.

At least we can inculcate among students to be magnanimous and also their parents to be less “kiasu”. Malaysians who can afford should rightly provide breakfast for their own children. 

This is volunteerism and patriotism too. We should let the government help those who are more in need and deserving.

Second, the breakfast program must be closely monitored. Based on past records of similar programmes, I have my fear of food contractors taking advantage of the program. 

I also have fear of those in charge being bribed to look the other way.

This is a good programme, so let’s do it properly and professionally for our children.

Food contractors should be allowed to make profit, but they should not indulge in profiteering.

Food contractors must ensure quality foods and maintain proper hygiene. Surely, we do not want our children to end up consuming substandard foods or having food poisoning.

I urge the ministry to assign inspectors to regularly conduct spot checks to make sure that this programme is carried out professionally.

I am not being negative; I wish very much this programme will be a success, unlike many other programmes that were just a “flash in the pan”.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.     

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