Budget 2023: the Ministry of Education requests more funds for the RMT

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Education has proposed a larger allocation for the Supplementary Feeding Program (RMT) in the 2023 budget.

His Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said it was on the wish list submitted to the Ministry of Finance for the next budget.

READ ALSO : RMT: Why RM2.50 is not enough to feed poor students in M’sian with quality canteen food

“We have requested that the tariffs be reviewed and increased as many canteen operators have raised this issue with the ministry,” he told reporters after the Wadah Aspirasi program here on Friday, September 23.

“Many canteen operators have expressed concern over the rising cost of food and we have suggested an appropriate amount to the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

READ ALSO : Ministry of Education investigating rice and sauce allegation about RMT, says Radzi

Radzi, however, did not disclose the proposed new RMT rate per student.

The current stipend is too small and canteen operators with few students usually feel the pinch, Radzi added.

The Ministry of Education currently allocates RM2.50 per student in the Peninsula and RM3 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan for the RMT programme.

READ ALSO : The Ministry of Education in talks with the Ministry of Finance to present a proposal to increase the RMT rate in the 2023 budget

The RMT was introduced in 1979 to provide daily meals to poor students in schools.

It was improved in 2020 and meals are prepared by school canteens from more than 20 menus, based on recommendations from the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on July 22 that the current allocation for RMT was not enough.

READ ALSO : Only 61% of schools use prescribed RMT menus, says Khairy

“If you ask me as Minister of Health, the expenditure of RM2.50 and RM3 for Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan respectively is insufficient to pay for the raw material expenditure in the menu that we (the Ministry of Health) have prepared,” he said. .

Khairy proposed that the current expenditure be increased to at least RM4 for Peninsular Malaysia and RM5.50 for Sabah and Sarawak so that school children can get nutritious food.

“It is not the fault of the Ministry of Education, the problem is the rising prices. The allowance must be increased, otherwise the children do not receive the necessary nutrition,” he added.

For the 2023 budget, the Department of Education also requested an allowance for teachers to purchase laptops and an increase in the allowance for special education.

On another topic, Radzi said that the centralized reporting system to record student assessment results will be implemented by the end of the year.

Through this system, teachers and the ministry will be able to easily extract student results, he said.

The system could also help in the preparation of timetables which were still done manually in some schools.