Meal programme shows promise, potential expansion to more schools

Aziz Idris

The Daily Breakfast scheme provided under the Harapan and Anak Harapan programmes had shown improvement in student attendance and academics in four out of the five secondary schools selected for the scheme, said Minister of Education Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman in response to an inquiry made by Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali bin Pengiran Moan.

The programme was introduced in 2018. Despite the success rate, the minister said that there is still room for improvement and the programme can be strengthened as each school has its own constraints.

However, given that the programme has demonstrated that it can improve attendance and indirectly impact academic performance, the Ministry of Education is considering expanding the programme to other schools.

All meals distributed to students follow recommendations by the Ministry of Health. Earlier on, Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Ali welcomed the idea of providing inclusive and equitable education through the meal programmes. He believed that getting proper nutrition empowers students to learn and contribute back to the society. In 2018, the Harapan and Anak Harapan programmes was set up to provide meal plans to five secondary and 26 primary schools of the most disadvantaged zones across the country. Nearly 12,000 children are eligible for the scheme.