Education minister says free breakfast programme about health and civics, ethics

Maszlee announced the free breakfast programme yesterday. — Picture via Instagram/Maszlee
Maszlee announced the free breakfast programme yesterday. — Picture via Instagram/Maszlee

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GEORGE TOWN, Aug 27 — The government’s free breakfast programme to kick off in all primary schools next year is aimed to teach children the importance of healthy eating and civic consciousness during meal time, Maszlee Malik said today.

The education minister said the initiative is not merely to provide free meals to all children, but how to maintain hygiene and clean up after themselves. 

“They will be eating with their teachers and the teachers will be teaching them healthy eating habits and the ethics of it so it is a civic education package, not only free food,” he told a press conference after attending a National Education, Innovation and Research Conference here. 

He said the programme is similar to the practice in Japanese primary schools, which emphasise food and nutrition education in which the students are given time to help serve, eat together in the classroom and clean up after the meal.

The practice is to encourage self-sufficiency and to teach the children to pick up after themselves.

Maszlee took to Facebook yesterday to announce the free breakfast programme, which will start with the new academic year next January.

He said this is to ensure students get access to sufficient nutrition, regular eating times and learn the importance of a balanced diet from a young age.

In his speech earlier, Maszlee said civic education is important to build a civic-minded society.

“We want a disciplined society that are hardworking, focused and committed to achieving their goals and visions,” he said.

He hoped that civic education will be the next big thing to be introduced from primary schools to university and it will include philosophy and ethics. 

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