KUALA LUMPUR: The Free Breakfast Programme (FBP) is expected to benefit about 2.7 million pupils nationwide, the Dewan Rakyat was told yesterday.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the programme would cost from RM800 million to RM1.67 billion, depending on the number of schooling days, which is 200 days.

“The cost is also dependent on providing raw materials, including in the interior areas such as in Sabah and Sarawak. The ministry will also ensure schools implement the stipulated SOPs to avoid food poisoning,” he said during an oral question-and-answer session.

He revealed that the programme, which was planned to start next year, would use two mechanisms in its implementation.

“The first mechanism is the operation of FBP for 30 minutes using a combination of a main menu in the form of cooked food and a fruit menu.

“The second mechanism is the operation of FBP for 10 minutes using a combination menu of milk product drinks and a fast food menu under the ready to eat concept such as bread, biscuits, grain snacks, cakes and boiled eggs,” he said.

He was answering a question from Sabri Azit (PAS-Jerai) who wanted to know about the mechanism of implementing FBP for all primary school students starting next year.

Maszlee said that the FBP menu lists were jointly developed by the Ministry of Health and Public Institutions of Higher Learnings to meet the nutritional needs of the pupils.

He added, the time for giving the breakfast is before 8.30am for morning session pupils and before 4pm for evening session pupils and were scheduled in stages according to the suitability in the schools.

“The pupils’ meal times will be scheduled in stages and the locations of the meals will be diversified using the space or rooms available in the schools. This will give time for the pupils to wash their utensils and lunch boxes.

“In addition, eating in the classrooms with the teachers is a practical step in terms of space and the teachers’ cordial ties with the pupils and guidance on etiquette,” he said. – Bernama