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Education Ministry to check BMI of pupils aged five to nine to tackle obesity

PETALING JAYA: The 2022/2023 school academic year will see five to nine-year-olds having their body mass index (BMI) checked.

The Education Ministry will conduct the programme, known as BMI 5-9T, to tackle obesity among school children.

“The ministry will implement the BMI 5-9T twice a year, with the first test carried out on the third month after the start of the schooling session, based on the academic calendar.

“The second test will be conducted five months after the first test.

“This programme is also aimed at helping pupils realise the importance of having an ideal body composition, doing exercises on a regular basis and practising a healthy diet for their well-being,” Education director-general Datin Sri Nor Zamani Abdol Hamid said in a circular uploaded on the ministry’s website which she signed, issued on Dec 23, 2021.

Its implementation will kick off on the first day of the 2022/2023 school academic year.

The programme, she said, will be done on a yearly basis for pupils of this age group.

It is compulsory for preschool and level one pupils in national primary schools, government and private agencies, as well as private schools, she added.

“It is compulsory for special needs pupils, too, except those who need maximum support.

“The implementation of the tests will be done for level one pupils during Physical and Health Education, and during integrated learning and outdoor activities for preschoolers.

“The recording and measuring of the BMI have to be done manually in the BMI 5-9T form and online through the ministry’s Integrated Assessment Management System (SPPB),” she said.

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