Reid defends removal of bullas from schools
Education Minister Ruel Reid has defended the Government's position to remove bullas from schools, noting that their checks have indicated that the initiative was a waste of resources.
Reid, while addressing the 54th Jamaica Teachers' Association's Annual Conference earlier this year, announced that several food items, including the popular bulla cake, would be removed from public schools as part of a campaign to promote healthier eating among students.
Yesterday, the education minister was responding to an article that was published in The Gleaner last month where schools noted that there have been few or no alternatives since the removal of the bulla cakes since the start of the new academic year in September.
Reid believes that the ministry is doing all it can to provide healthy options for students.
"We found that bulla, not nutri-bun, was being wasted. A lot of the children were not having the bulla for lunch. The bulla went home, and a lot of resources, as far as our estimation is concerned, were wasted in this endeavour," he told The Gleaner.
"People benefited. It got into the community, and that is why, in a very nice way, we are now trying to ensure that Government's resources are not wasted. Ninety-eight per cent of schools have canteens, and our focus is to say that if the schools have canteens, let us ensure that the canteens are able to deliver the meals rather than the additional cost of the NPL (Nutrition Products Limited) to produce those solutions, which are far less efficient."
He said that he was satisfied with the transitional process so far, which saw the students receiving healthier food items.
"What I have announced, which is happening, is that the additional and alternative solutions are being implemented. I've seen the water, I've seen the wraps and the sandwiches, and additions will be made to the menu," he said.