Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali has stated that Education Ministry is aware of and concerned about the wastage of food items from the School Breakfast Program.
Speaking at a news conference held at the President's Office on Thursday Dr. Aishath Ali said the Student Breakfast Program hss been extremely successful, and positive changes have been witnessed in the overall academics, health and attendance of students.
However, the Ministry is concerned by the amount of food wastage, and a solution to the issue is being sought, assured the Minister.
Minister highlighted several steps being taken by the ministry to address the issue, including stopping the use of single use disposable paper plates to serve breakfast to students.
"Before, we used to provide paper plates for the students and it was thrown away after use. Therefore, in order to minimize waste, we have arranged for each student to bring their own lunch plates", said the Minister.
Minister noted that some students do not drink the full cream milk packet provided under the School Breakfast Program, which in turn increases wastage. However, they are slowly getting accustomed to the taste and the number of children who drink milk is now increasing, said the minister.
"Most children do not drink the full cream milk because it does not taste sweet. We are giving full cream milk to the children because it is healthy for their bodies. However, some children who refused to drink the milk earlier have now started consuming it," Minister said.
Dr Aisha said the ministry has identified ways to decrease the cost of the breakfast program in order to conduct the program in a more sustainable manner. The ministry is entertaining the idea of growing fruits on island school grounds instead of taking the products to the island from Male', she revealed.
"We are speaking with Agriculture Ministry to see if we can plant trees such as banana. The cost can be reduced if the food can be produced in the islands instead of taking the products to the islands from Male'," Minister said.