President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration on Tuesday launched healthy breakfast programmes in all government schools across Maldives.
During the first semester of 2019, breakfast was provided in 25 schools as an experimental phase, to fulfil the president's pledge to provide all school students with breakfast.
After the completion of this stage, the government has now commenced this programme in an additional 188 schools. Currently, 57,816 students in 203 schools across the country will receive a healthy breakfast in the morning.
Speaking at a ceremony held in Thaajudeen School to launch the programme, Vice President Faisal Naseem stated that students need to be clear headed to go forth with their studies, and that good results are delivered with a good beginning.
"[Students] must be able to be attentive during lessons. They must have the capability to fully concentrate on the teachings of the whole day", VP Naseem said.
Minister of Education Aishath Ali also spoke at the ceremony, declaring that this is a special day in the academic history of Maldives and that studying on empty stomachs end today.
Additionally, she said that the breakfast programme was launched to bring about a positive change to students' growth and discipline.
"The results of this programme show that students' concentration during lessons increased due to the breakfast. The number of students who are late for school decreased. Number of students who faint in assemblies decreased. Number of students who visit the health room because of headaches and stomachaches decreased".
Referring to the businesses tasked with providing the breakfast meals, the minister noted that the economy of islands will also improve with this initiative.
Providing a healthy breakfast for students was one of the key pledges of President Solih's administration. MVR 123 million from the state budget was allocated for the first year of this programme.