Over 10,000 students benefitting from daily breakfast in schools

With over 217 schools involved in the Ministry of Education’s breakfast programme, some 10,300 students are currently being provided with their first meal before classroom activities begin.
At the launch of the Breakfast Programme at the West Ruimveldt Primary School on Thursday, Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry, Alfred King, said this initiative ensures that children are at their optimal to perform well academically.
These efforts would enable breakfast for all Grade Six students. This means no child would be hungry when classes commence.
“We thought that we should go nationally to ensure that all Grade Six learners are involved in the school feeding programme. Once they get into the classroom, they stay there, they are happy, and they do well. That’s our intention. To date, we have more than 10,300 learners on this programme, which is tremendous,” King expressed.

Children in the Grade Six classes are benefitting from breakfast before classes

By the ending of October, the Ministry is aiming to extend its reach to about 500 more students. Through this initiative, students benefit from a nutritious meal before they commence classroom activities. It is proven that learning and retention increases when children start the day with a meal.
Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary) Rabindra Singh has said this programme would ensure children come to school every day, and it eases the burden on parents to prepare an early meal. However, he said children would have to be in school 30 minutes before classroom activities begin, so that curriculum delivery is not affected.


“We have recognised the importance of being healthy, and we are now on board to give that support…This programme is going to help to ensure that you come to school; and not only that, but this programme must not prevent you, even a minute late, from delivering your curriculum. Therefore, it means you have to be here at least half an hour early every day,” Singh told the students.
Breakfast Coordinator Mahendra Phagwah added that officers from the Ministry would be doing routine checks to ensure that the quality of delivery remains to standard.
Phagwah told students, “We, at the Ministry of Education, would have contracted these caterers, and we need to know that they’re serving you well. That is our expectation…We also have officers who will be coming to the schools to ask questions, whether they come on time to serve you. We expect them to serve you quality meals.”
This year, $267 million is being expended on the breakfast programme so that every Grade Six child on the coast could benefit. Children living in the hinterland regions are already benefitting from a separate feeding programme. (G12)