Oct 10, 2021 / 13:38

Over 90% of Hanoi students join school milk project

The program has recorded many encouraging results that create a premise for more children to enjoy milk.

More than 90% of children in kindergartens and primary schools in Hanoi have joined the school milk program as of late 2020, according to a report released to review the 2020-2021 academic year.

The school milk program has been implemented at all kindergartens and primary schools in the capital city since January 2019 and lasts until 2020 on the principle of voluntariness.

The children joining the program have received a 180ml box of fresh milk at their school daily. The State and supplier supported 53% for the value of a milk box while the children’s family contributed 47% of the cost.

In addition to offering the quality assurance of milk from well-known brands, the school milk program also shares the cost of milk with parents. Poor and disadvantaged children have been supported at 100% of the cost.

Hanoi has successfully developed the program, under the Vietnamese Government's decision on approving a school milk program with a view to improving children’s nutrition and stature. 

The program has recorded many encouraging results that create a premise for more children to enjoy milk, especially when they come back to schools after the Covid-19 pandemic is put under control.

 Hanoi students are happy while drinking milk from their teacher in class. Photo: Minh Anh

Hanoi is one of 26 provinces and cities nationwide implementing the school milk program. In an interview with The Hanoi Times, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Education and Training Pham Xuan Tien said that in the first year of implementation, the community awareness about drinking milk has been enhanced, marking an important step in increasing the stature and fitness of local children.

“With the initial effectiveness of the school milk program, the awareness of parents and administrators in educational institutions have been significantly improved. We will actively advise local districts to continue expanding the target so that all children in the city can enjoy school milk,” Tien added.

The deputy director stressed that after the interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the school milk program will continue to benefit students in Hanoi. The quality control and storage of milk are more carefully monitored in order to provide safe milk to schools.

“Students are very excited to drink milk and see it as a familiar activity when going to school. In our education system, it can be said that the program has received the attention and support of a large number of parents so that students can drink milk," Nguyen Quang Tung, principal of the Hanoi-based Lomonosov Education System, told The Hanoi Times.

“School milk program is the largest project in terms of scale and value at schools in the capital city. Through the project, children have been educated about the important role of nutrition and physical and intellectual enhancement, forming good habits of drinking milk every day,” Tung added.

According to Cong Thi Bich Ha, a teacher of the Lomonosov My Dinh Primary School, the school milk program is very meaningful, helping children receive essential nutrients for the full growth of their brain and body.

"In my class, there are more than 90% of children benefiting from this program. Their parents are very supportive of it,” she said.

Ha added that her students have also improved their awareness of environmental protection by folding the used milk cartons after drinking milk so that the cartons can be recycled.

Vietnam aims to have at least 60% of schools offering milk in their meals over the next five years. Photo: Quynh An

Mai Hoang Phuc, whose child is a student at Nguyen Tat Thanh School in Hanoi’s inner district of Cau Giay, expressed his thanks to the support of the State. His son has received milk to increase height and intellectual perfection.

“My son loved drinking milk with friends and learning how to folk and make toys from the milk cartons. I hoped that the program will be maintained for as long as possible,” Phuc told The Hanoi Times.

Master healthcare plan for children 

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has signed a decision approving the school healthcare program for the 2021-2025 period, aiming to ensure the physical and mental well-being of Vietnamese students and help improve their height and fitness.

The program includes specific goals for physical education activities, school nutrition, and communication on school-based healthcare.

Under the program, Vietnam aims to have at least 80% of schools meeting the requirements on healthcare for students and 75% providing sufficient drinking water and freshwater.

With regards to physical education, 80% of schools are expected to have a dedicated area with the necessary equipment for physical exercises, 100% of schools will regularly hold sports competitions and be staffed with qualified physical education teachers.

The program has set the goal that school meals at all educational facilities must meet requirements on nutrition and safety with at least 60% of schools providing milk and milk-based products in their meals. Although facing many difficulties in the first years of implementation, millions of boxes of milk are regularly sent to students, ensuring the effective implementation of the program.

The Vietnamese Government has built many programs to support the growth of children and invest in high-quality human resources for the country in the future.

The above-mentioned school milk project has helped to improve the nutritional status of preschool and primary students, thereby contributing to the physical and intellectual development of children.

Besides, all students are expected to be equipped with knowledge on preventing diseases, proper nutrition, healthy foods, and mental health.