Hanoi school program sees rise in milk consumption

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Students in Hanoi enjoy the School Milk program right after returning to school after a break from the Covid-19 epidemic. Pic: Vinamilk
Students in Hanoi enjoy the School Milk program right after returning to school after a break from the Covid-19 epidemic. Pic: Vinamilk

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The Hanoi Department of Education and Training in Vietnam organized a conference to evaluate the effectiveness of the school milk project for the period of 2018 to 2020.

The ongoing project is the largest in the country in terms of scale and value, with more than 1m participants.

On the first day of implementation, January 2, 2019, 64% of preschoolers and elementary students were drinking milk.

To date, the program has reached 1,059,854 preschoolers and elementary students from nearly 4,000 schools in the city, reaching 91.16% of the school population.

According to statistics from the Hanoi Department of Education and Training, 100% of public preschool and primary schools participated, and 93% of children registered to drink milk; for non-public schools (including preschools, non-public primary schools, governing groups, children groups, independent kindergarten), the percentage of participating schools is 86.74%, with 80.73% registered to drink milk.

The evaluation reports said training for teachers and representatives of the parent associations is essential and plays an important role in the effective implementation of the project. Prior to its start, 30 training courses were organized for nearly 10,000 delegates on the whole process of implementing the program.

vinamilk schools2
The transport and distribution of milk was conducted in compliance with coronavirus regulations to ensure the health and safety of students. Pic: Vinamilk

The country’s Department of Health collaborated with the Department of Education and Training to set up food safety inspection teams for school kitchens, while milk supplier Vinamilk also conducted a survey of milk storage conditions at schools, provided shelves and organized delivery of milk according to the quantity and frequency required by each educational institution.

Pham Xuan Tien, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training, said, "Up to this point, it can be said that the program has received the attention and support of a large number of parents, so that preschoolers and elementary students can drink milk.

“Students are very excited to drink milk and see it as a familiar activity when going to school. With such positive effect, we are working with departments and industries related to recommendations for implementation in the next phase.”

The State and Vinamilk support 53% of the funding, the family contributes only 47% of the value of each milk carton. The program supports 100% of the funding for milk consumption for poor, near-poor students, ethnic minority students and policy beneficiary students.

The city said Vinamilk’s contribution saves the city budget more than VND300bn ($12.9m).

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