PETALING JAYA: As canteen operators increase the prices of food between 5% and 15%, primary school pupils in Klang Valley are forced to spend more for food.
A pupil with RM3 pocket money will not be able to buy sufficient food at the school canteen.
Luo Zhi Chang, secretary of the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, said a bowl of noodle which used to cost RM1.50 is now RM1.80. Buns are up 10 sen while a plate of rice is about 30 sen more expensive.
Luo said price adjustments by canteen operators have been negotiated with headmasters and parent-teacher associations of the schools.
“We have not heard of Chinese primary schools increasing the canteen rent, but we know prices of food have increased,” he said.
If a pupil is taking his breakfast and lunch at school, he will need about RM10 to RM15, said Luo.
A meal without drinks may cost the pupil RM5 and RM6; a plate of rice is between RM4.50 and RM5.
Some schools are still selling a plate of rice at RM3.50 to RM4, but the portion has become smaller now, he said.
Gao Tian Fa, chairman of the working committee to develop Chinese primary schools in Klang area, said a pupil will need to bring at least RM5 to school each day.
If the canteen operators are not allowed to increase the food prices, they will have to sell a smaller portion instead.
“The pupils will find the portion too small and they will still be hungry,” he said.
In the past, Gao said many food operators were keen to tender for school canteen space, especially at schools with over a thousand pupils.
The situation has changed now, he said, as food operators find it difficulty to hire workers while the schools control the prices of food sold at the canteen.
Young people are not keen to run a petty business like a school canteen, he added.