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Upland Vietnamese semi-boarders pay just $0.5 for school meal

Upland Vietnamese semi-boarders pay just $0.5 for school meal

Friday, January 05, 2024, 11:56 GMT+7
Upland Vietnamese semi-boarders pay just $0.5 for school meal
Teachers from the school board pay daily visits to the school dining facility to check on the food quality and health regulations, as well as collect feedback from the students. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

Students at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam enjoy lunch and dinner for just VND24,000 (US$1) per day thanks to a program backed by the state budget which allocates VND720,000 ($30) per student per month.

The school, located in Thanh Hoa’s mountainous Muong Lat District, has 441 students who study, eat, and play together.

It is the largest semi-boarding school in Muong Lat.

According to Ha Thi Anh Thu, a seventh grader at Trung Ly, the menu changes each day to include some combination of pork, chicken, fish, beans, eggs, vegetables, and steamed rice.

The meals, Thu said, are reminiscent of the food many of the students enjoy when they are at home with their families, most of whom live 10-50 kilometers from the school.

The food served at Trung Ly is provided by local distributors which meet legal and food safety regulatory criteria. 

These food distributors are able to provide lunch and dinner portions, costing $0.5 apiece, for each student for VND720,000 per student per month, while the cost of breakfast is borne by the students’ parents.

Meanwhile, the VND3 million ($125) per month salary for each of the school’s kitchen staff is covered by the provincial administration.

Vietnam’s GDP per capita for 2023 reached VND101.9 million ($4,245), up $160 year on year.

Teachers from the school board pay daily visits to the school dining facility to check on the food quality and health regulations, as well as collect feedback from the students.

The school also keeps track of how many meals each student eats per month and refunds the difference of the allotted VND720,000 per student to parents.

Nguyen Duy Thuy, principal of Trung Ly, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the school has always tried its best to provide the students with nutritious meals so that they can stay healthy and be ready to learn.

School meals are offered decently. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

School meals are offered decently. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

Semi-boarders have dinner at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

Semi-boarders have dinner at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

A $0.5 meal offered at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

A $0.5 meal offered at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

School meals are always served hot at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

School meals are always served hot at Trung Ly Semi-Boarding Middle - High School in Thanh Hoa Province, north-central Vietnam. Photo: Ha Dong / Tuoi Tre

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