By Aneesah Ishak
KUALA LUMPUR, 29 October 2021: Several initiatives are taken by the government to address the issues faced by students in higher education institutions as announced during the tabling of 2022 Budget in the Dewan Rakyat today.
The government has agreed to offer discounts for repayment of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) which will come into effect from Nov 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022.
Finance Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in announcing the Budget 2022 said a 15 per cent discount would be offered on the balance of loan for those who wish to make a full settlement.
Those who wish to settle at least 50 per cent of their loan balance in one payment will be given a 12 per cent discount.
He further added, a 10 per cent discount would be offered for those who wish to make repayment through scheduled salary or debit deduction.
In the meantime, the government will implement the PerantiSiswa Keluarga Malaysia initiative to supply a tablet to every student in institutions of higher learning to ensure continuity of B40 students’ learning session.
The government will allocate RM450 million in addition to the commitment of telecommunication companies to contribute about RM65 million to assure a total of 600,000 students coming from B40 families will benefit from the initiative.
Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul said an additional of RM200 million was also provided for joint venture programmes with the industry including the National Dual Training Scheme and industry certification programmes.
“In the 12th Malaysia Plan (MP12), the government has identified Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) as one of the agents of change that are able to meet the demand of the industry,” he explained.
“The government has allocated RM6.6 billion to implement various initiatives under the relevant ministries and agencies to strengthen TVET. The focus is on meeting the needs of the current industry,” he added.
Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul added, the government will credit RM150 on a one-off basis into the e-wallet accounts of youths aged 18 to 20 through the e-Start program, a Cashless Transaction Scheme which will start next year.
“With an allocation of RM300 million, the government hopes that more than two million youths who benefit from this program will be able to make the best use of it through the purchase of useful items such as books and learning equipment while fostering a culture of cashless transactions on business premises,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government also insisted the private sector provides an allowance of at least RM900 to students undergoing industrial training programs at their companies.
According to him, the allowance is equal to the amount paid by the government to the students when they undergo industrial training.
He also said that the Ministry of Higher Education has been allocated RM14.5 billion under the 2022 Budget.***
Source: Bernama and Astro Awani