By Amirah Yasmin
GOMBAK, 6 November 2020: The Education Ministry will receive RM50.4 billion which is equivalent to 15.6% of the annual budget, Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said, when tabling the 2021 Budget in Parliament today.
As emphasised by the Minister, this big portion of the budget acts as an investment which is important and necessary to increase living standards.
To achieve its objective, RM800 million has been allocated to maintaining and repairing public schools. For schools in Sabah and Sarawak, an additional RM750 million will be given to them.
Apart from that, as classes shifted online due to the series of lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, many students face exclusion since they do not inherit adequate equipment to attend the classes.
Most of the families could not afford computers to begin with. Hence, a sum of RM450 billion under the National Connectivity Plan is allocated to allow more than 450 schools to connect with stay-at-home students.
Another allocation for students in poor households is the Supplementary Food Programme which amounted to RM420 million. This is to curb malnutrition among underprivileged students and to attend to malnourishment of poor households.
The Ministry of Higher Education, on the other hand, would receive a separate RM14.4 billion. This includes RM50 million allocation for infrastructure and equipment replacement in public universities. However, similar to Budget 2020, no direct monetary assistance was allocated to university students.
Overall, this budget allocation by the government has been applauded by various NGOs such as the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education. This investment is to elevate the future generation in escalating the nation’s productivity.***
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