Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Food for thought for Maszlee Malik

Yoursay
Published:

YOURSAY | ‘Money used to feed the children can be used to nourish their minds instead.’

Free Breakfast Programme may cost up to RM1.67b, says Maszlee

Anonymous_7d1ca773: I am sure the students from lower-income families would welcome the free breakfast and so would their parents.

Parents will be more than happy knowing that their children’s well-being is taken care of by the government through the schools.

However, the budget that Education Minister Maszlee Malik mentioned would be much better spent on improving on the more important areas of education and even on the schools' infrastructure.

The Education Ministry can improve on the internet connectivity (broadband), computer facilities, library books, or fitting air conditioners in classrooms to make learning more conducive.

Some schools have no proper toilets, some need major renovation works while other schools need an overhead bridge for children to cross over main roads.

Back to the free breakfast. Why can’t we get the parents of the rich kids to sponsor the poor kids for breakfast?

It will save the government so much money and plus it would be a noble thing for the parents of the rich kids to do for their fellow Malaysians.

P: Indeed, why not spend the money on providing better education instead?

I am sure all parents would be elated and very thankful to the government if their children were to get free exercise books, stationaries, school bag and probably even school uniforms.

This will remove the financial burden that millions of Malaysian parents are facing year after year.

Maszlee, if you really must provide food for the school children, please ensure that food portions will be rationed according to each child's need.

Some of them are reaching obesity at a very young age and you would be forced to provide healthcare in the near future which will result in more expenditure for the government.

True: My goodness, in this period of hard economic situation, why should the government use up unnecessary additional billions just to help feed the students?

Most of whom do not need and want such assistance. I believe parents will find a way to feed their children.

In fact, some of the children do pack food from home which is prepared by their parents. They do this because the families are saving money and to avoid unnecessary spending, which is what our government should be doing.

I urge the education minister to please concentrate on improving our country’s education standards. We should be looking at improving our efficiency of teachers and upgrading teaching methods.

This would a sensible and realistic approach rather than spending our hard-earned tax monies on unwanted food.

Multi Racial: The Education Ministry must give their fullest attention in reforming our education system which is already in a terrible state.

On the surface, the free breakfast programme is an honourable idea but it opens up for corruption and cronyism.

Frankly, how many students need free breakfast? Look further. Not just the students but their poor parents and siblings.

And what about those who don't need it?

Sorry for doubting. I just do not believe the money is going to be well-spent and the programme implemented correctly. Somewhere along the line, someone is going to take advantage of the situation.

The education minister should just focus on education. The ministry should seriously look into bringing in better teachers and improving the current syllabus taught in schools.

They should let other ministries take care of poverty, welfare and social well-being of the people. Please don’t abuse public fund without having a long-term and sustainable solution.

My2cen: I don’t think that this Free Breakfast Programme is a good idea, to begin with. The problem I can foresee in the future is the quality of food served and also wastage. In the end, it would be another failed project and not benefitting the intended.

The education minister wants to emulate the Japanese kindergarten system, but he does not know how long the nurturing aspect has been ingrained in their education system.

The Japanese are also known for their hygiene. They serve nutritious food, paid by parents, and prepared by clean kitchen staff. Honestly, food poisoning in Malaysia is an everyday risk! And it’s no joke.

And don't forget that we always face water shortage even in schools. We will end up with unwashed, or barely washed vegetables.

We should treat the root cause, not the symptom. Let the parents feed their children and let the schools play their role.

The schools should provide a well-rounded education to the kids so that they can be employed or become entrepreneurs after they graduate.

The money that will be used for the intended free breakfast can be used to provide teaching tools that are needed. The schools can purchase multimedia items or more computers to enhance their teaching methods.

I Wonder?: A better and more effective way is by giving the money directly to the parents to buy more nutritious food for their schooling children.

Parents know what's best for their children.

What would be better is that the government can provide free bus service from home to school, tuition and even some pocket money for the children.

Kangkung: This is a good programme but the question is: do all pupils need free breakfast?

Yes, it will be better to get parents to sign up for it if they want it for their children, otherwise there will be food wastage.


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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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