KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – The increase in Early Schooling Aid (BAP), from RM100 to RM150, for all students irrespective of parents’ income is much welcome, especially by the B40 and M40 groups.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Fouzi Singon, however, said parents should use the as best as possible to prepare for their children’s schooling needs.

“This aid will also help guardians to contribute to the Parent-Teacher Associations (PIBG) fund which is used for emergencies and co-curriculum activities for students,” he told Bernama when contacted today.

However, he said the meal allocation for pre-school students needed to be reviewed since the existing allocation of RM2 for two meals, for breakfast and during recess, was not sufficient.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz when tabling the Supply Bill 2023 announced that the Ministry of Education (MoE) would continue to receive the largest allocation of RM55.6 billion in 2023 compared to RM52.6 billion this year.

Apart from increasing the BAP, the government is also increasing the rate for cooked food under the Supplementary Food Plan (RMT) from RM2.50 to RM3.50 for Peninsular Malaysia, and RM3 to RM4 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, effective this month.

Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education (MAGPIE) Mak Chee Kin welcomed the increase in the RMT rate and hoped canteen operators would serve better food for students, instead of just making a profit from the business.

“… the government can give them (canteen operators) additional incentives such as reducing the rental rate for canteens and giving them certificates of appreciation for their contributions.

“This will encourage more canteen operators to improve the (quality of) RMT food,” he added. – Bernama