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Hanoi to continue school milk program

Released at: 14:23, 09/08/2019

Hanoi to continue school milk program

Photo: Viet Tuan

Program to continue with support of most parents.

by Le Diem

Hanoi will continue to carry out its school milk program in the 2019-2020 academic year, the city’s Department of Education and Training has confirmed.

Each student at kindergartens and primary schools in the capital will again be provided with a small box of milk every day during the school year from September 6 to May 29, 2020, which must be drunk at school and not taken home.

Parents pay only 47 per cent of the cost, with the remainder sponsored by the local government in cooperation with the milk supplier. Children of the poor, near-poor, ethnic minorities, and social policy beneficiaries will receive milk for free.

District and communal departments of education and training and schools are required to conduct inspections of milk supply to ensure food safety and will support local authorities in encouraging parents to have their children participate in the program.

The school milk program began at schools in Hanoi on January 2, with the supplier being Vinamilk, the country’s largest dairy corporation. After one week, all public preschool and primary schools and 61.8 per cent of private schools were participating in the program.

By the end of the 2018-2019 school year, last May, more than 1 million preschool and primary students in the city were receiving the milk, or 87.7 per cent of the total.

The school milk program was launched nationwide in 2016 to improve nutritional standards and contribute to improving the physique of children in kindergartens and elementary schools by 2020.

It was also expected to improve the nutrition and stature of children in kindergartens and primary schools, especially those in poor and remote areas, reduce the prevalence of malnutrition, improve their health and physical strength, and contribute to human resources development in the future given that the average height of Vietnamese men and women is 163.7 cm and 153 cm; shorter than World Health Organization (WHO) standards by 13.1 cm and 10.7 cm.

Thirteen cities and provinces have joined the program, and Vinamilk is the milk supplier to most.

Vietnam has set a goal of boosting the average height of its population by 4 cm within the next decade. The average Vietnamese man will be 168.5 cm tall by 2030 and the average woman 157.5 cm.

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