Canteen vendors incur heavy losses due to Covid-19 related SOP

The rules of not allowing the student to eat in the canteen affects the food sale of the vendors at school

05 Jan 2022 11:16am
Roswati Shalina with the students at the canteen of SK KLIA during a previous school session
Roswati Shalina with the students at the canteen of SK KLIA during a previous school session

SHAH ALAM - The standard operating procedures (SOP) or the guidelines that have been specified by school authorities and Ministry of Education have put heavy burdens on the canteen vendors in conducting their business.

A canteen vendor at Sekolah Kebangsaan KLIA, Roswati Shalina Abdul Razak, 46, said, although the current SOP allows the customers to dine in at restaurants, it is not the same case at schools as the students are not allowed to eat in the canteen.

She explained, the issue has caused many of the students to opt for not buying foods at the canteen during recess hour as they decided to bring their own lunchbox.

“The SOP is very burdensome. We can see that the public is allowed to eat in the restaurants but the students are now allowed to do the same thing at school.

“Apart from that, the canteen vendors have to abide by many rules not to sell food to the students.

“We are even asked to send the food to their classes but 30 percent of the parents did not pay for it,” she said.

At the same time, Roswati Shalina said, the canteen vendors need to pay full rent starting from January although the school has implemented the attendance rotation system.

She explained, the foods that have been booked did not even reach 50 percent of the total number of the students who go to school.

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“We have to pay for the full rent between RM1,600 to RM2,800 but the attendance of the students did not even reach 50 percent, and this includes the attendance rotation system of the school.

“The sale used to reach up to RM2,500 a day, but now, I am grateful enough if we manage to earn RM500.

“Sometimes, we only earn RM300. So, how else are we supposed to earn the money? We have to pay the workers and the price of the goods are also increasing,” she said.

Therefore, she urged for the MOE to reduce the rent rate to half price as the school is now using the rotation system.

“MOE should look into this matter thoroughly, not only on the impacts and the problem to the students and teachers but also to us, the canteen vendors.

“MOE should lower down the rent rate if they are not able to provide it for free. We are the ones who need to pay for the utility bills.

“Technically, from January until March, school only operates for about 31 to 32 day and the rest are school holidays. How are we supposed to gain profit from that?” she asked.

She said, when the rent rate is not lowered, many of the canteen vendors will not be able to start operating and they will incur heavy losses.

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