Special needs children at a primary school in the city are given low quality food and are forced to use dirty and re-use utensils by the canteen operator
KUALA LUMPUR: They fear their teachers, they were called stupid for no reason, they would have their heads smacked without mercy, they even fear to ask for permission to use the toilet, and if that is not enough, to make matters worse, special needs children at a government primary school in the city are not just served with low quality food but are also forced to use recycle plastic utensils.
This shocking and inhumane treatment to kids with need of special attention was revealed by angry and disappointed parents to Berita Daily after their efforts to get the school administration to act against the canteen operator fell on deaf ears.
SK Sentul Utama Parent Teacher Association (PIBG) vice president Adnan Yem divulged that the operator served the kids with chicken neck bones and over-riped fruits.
It was also learnt that the operator did not keep the canteen clean for the special needs children as tables and chairs were left unclean after recess hour.
“I have an 11-year-old autistic son. Just last month he suffered from a really bad diarrhea. The doctor told me that this was due to bad or dirty food.
“Other parents too have voiced out their concerns about the canteen operator. Many have said that the canteen was not up to the standard as it was left dirty by the operator.
“Not just dirty, but they recycle the plastic utensils and re-use it. This is not how you treat school children. As a matter of fact, the food given was under the Rancangan Makanan Tambahan (RMT) and there are allocation for the food.
“Therefore, how come they can serve the school kids with unhygienic and low quality food?” Adnan said.
Speaking further, Adnan informed that the Persatuan Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Sentul Utama (PKKISU) has written a formal letter to the KL Federal Territory Education Department (JPWPKL) on the matter in August, however the operator is still serving food to the children.
“A formal letter was sent in August to the Federal Territory education department. We complained that the food served by the canteen operator was not up to the standard and we provided them with proof.
“Before writing to them, parents with special needs children met the school administrators which included the headmaster and we told them that we wanted a new canteen operator but sadly no one from the school wanted to listen to us.
“Until today, the problem has yet to be solved and I have lodged a police report in August after my son had fallen ill due to diarrhea,” he added.
He said that he wanted the police to investigate the canteen operator.
“When we complain to the school, they say it is a minor incident,” Adnan continued.
Some sample of the food served to the children by the canteen operator under the RMT programme are as follow:
1. Plain noodle sup (without vegetables or chicken and meat)
2. Chicken rice (comes only with bone parts of a chicken, especially the neck part)
3. Empty sandwich (bread and margarine)
4. Plain porridge (without vegetables or chicken and meat)
5. Over-riped fruits
Adnan also said that following their complains, the parents have been barred from entering the school premise to deliver food to their children.
He said the school administration has decided that parents were only allowed to give food to their kids outside of the school.
“Many of us have to take our children out of the school and give them food inside the car. But not all of us can do that,” Adnan said, pointing to Zakuan Ahmad whose son is suffering from a chronic liver problem and glycogen storage disease.
According to Zakuan, initially the school did not allow his wife to enter the premise in order to feed their son.
After negotiation, the school allowed the wife to enter however, she was only permitted to feed her son inside a recreational room and not allowed to go to the canteen.
“Our son had problem with his diet so we need to feed him with his own food. But with the new law, parents can’t enter the school.”
“Therefore it is a problem for me. After negotiation, they allow my wife in but still she can’t go to the canteen but she had to feed my son in the recreational room. What else can I say,” he shrugged.
School denies allegations
Meanwhile when contacted SK Sentul Utama headmaster Roslan Jais denied all the allegations.
He slammed the complaining parents, saying that they should have requested for meeting between him and the parents instead of reporting it to the media.
“I don’t understand some parents. What do they want us to do? We have done our very best to make sure that their kids are safe and healthy.
“They should have contacted me and tell me what is going on so that we can talk and discuss how to improve the situation. But by talking to the media, trying to shame me, that is not right,” Roslan said.
He said that the issue over the poor quality of the food served in the canteen had been sorted.
“About the food, we have taken care of it. Even the ministry department and the district education department have come to check on the school,” he said.