The importance of breakfast cannot be emphasised enough. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.

Unfortunately, many children regularly skip breakfast, depriving them of all the nutrients they can get from having one. Skipping breakfast at home is usually the result of the busy morning schedules of the household.

Primary schoolchildren, who are at a phase where their bodies are growing and brains developing, need regular refuelling from food. Eating breakfast has proven to improve concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory, and mood.

Understanding the importance of having breakfast to school children, the Ministry of Education (MoE) recently introduced the provision of hot drinks at the start of the school day for Year 6 students who may need them. In a number of primary schools across Brunei, extra efforts have been taken to provide food or a simple breakfast meal for the students.

Cikgu Sarbanun binti Haji judin, the headmistress of Sekolah Rendah Sungai Kebun, shared that since the implementation of this initiative, students who do not have breakfast at home can enjoy them in school before class.

“The children now are not attending their lessons with an empty stomach. They are also keener on getting their meal much earlier than the usual 10.30am break time,” she said.

At SR Sengkurong, the provision of hot drinks starts at 6.45am every school day. According to Headmistress Cikgu Rasimah binti Haji Abang, “Most of the students come early so that they can enjoy morning drinks with their friends. The students are also more focused in the classroom.

“Although the result in their studies cannot be seen directly within a short term, it is clear that they enjoy their process of learning better on a full stomach. I am also touched how teachers go the extra mile to volunteer themselves to bring in different meal for these students.”

For SR Mabohai, breakfast has started at 7am every school day since mid-August. Cikgu Salinawati binti Mohd Zainal, the headmistress, has noted the good response from this initiative. She shared that 90 per cent students eat breakfast at school while the rest have their breakfast at home.

Many students also shared how grateful and happy they were of the new initiative. The impact can be seen by the increase in attendance of students, with most of them now coming in much earlier. Parents have also welcomed this initiative. – Courtesy of MoE