KUALA LUMPUR – A total of 2,317 children have registered at 88 Pusat Anak Permata Negara (Permata Early Childhood Education and Care Centres) throughout the country, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the program received very encouraging response from the various races to register their children who were below four years old.
He said to date, more than RM575 million had been allocated for development, operating expenditure and economic stimulus programmes for the Permata centres.
“A major portion was also channelled to several agencies such as the Social Welfare Department, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris and so on which also implemented Permata programs on a larger scale,” he told the Dewan Rakyat sitting here.
He said this when replying to a question from G. Manivannan (PKR-Kapar) who wanted to know the number of children registered at the Pusat Anak Permata Negara since its implementation from 2001 and the annual allocation for the program.
Shahidan also denied that the Permata Negara program, which educated children below the age of four years old, did not have continuity as claimed by Manivannan in his supplementary question.
“For children aged 0 to 4 years old, they are being managed by Permata, while those between four and six years old are managed by the Education Ministry and the Social Development Department (Kemas). We have Permata Kemas, Education Ministry Permata and so on,” he said.
Besides the Permata Negara, other programs that provided continuation to the program included Permata Seni, Permata Pintar, Permata Kurnia, while the Permata children hospital would be built at the 1Malaysia Development Berhad development areas, he said. – BERNAMA