KUALA LUMPUR – The government has allocated RM41.3 billion to build 30 primary, 27 secondary and five fully residential schools, four MARA Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) as well as to provide basic facilities and infrastructure, this year.
Recognising the importance to empower human capital, the allocation under the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 was aimed to improvise the quality of education, as an important contributor to economic growth.
According to the Economic Report 2016/17 issued by the Finance Ministry, construction works are at the pre-execution stage as of August, this year.
The report said that RM500 million was provided to national schools, national-type Chinese schools, national-type Tamil schools, religious schools, fully residential schools, national religious assisted schools, registered Sekolah Pondok and national-type Chinese secondary schools or Conforming schools
for the development and maintenance of education facilities.
At the same time, the government has also undertaken various programmes in pre-schools including Education-Preschool Programme under national Key Result Area (NKRA) which aims to increase national pre-school enrollment rate and improve the overall quality of pre-school education.
Concurrently, a total of RM12.9 million was allocated for Pre-School Per-capita Grant while another RM66.6 million and RM3.2 million was spent on Pre-School Food Aid and Pre-School Curriculum Aid Programmes respectively until last August.
These programmes have benefited 200,699 preschoolers in 6,048 government and government-aided schools.
Other than that, RM324.5 million was disbursed to 3.2 million students across the country as of August this year to continue the RM100 schooling assistance for all students to ease the burden of schooling expenses for households with monthly income below RM3,000.
The government also spent RM315.7 million on supplementary food programmes which initially provided meals during recess time to students from low income families and was expended to include breakfast, which benefited 547,110 students.
In addition, RM250 1Malaysia Book Voucher (BB1M) was provided to 1.2 million students in private and public higher educational institutions, including pre-university students.
Several initiatives were introduced to increase proficiency in Malay and English languages including curriculum transformation, capacity building and engagement of consultants, experts and assistant teachers.
A total of 100 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants from American Universities were placed in 100 schools at Kedah, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu as of August, this year.
Towards improving the students’ passing rate in the Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) English paper, the report also said that 170 teachers in upper secondary schools in all states were scheduled to attend the English Proficiency Enhancement in Schools Programme (PPKBIS).
Besides that, the Dual Language Programme (DLP) and Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) were introduced to improve English proficiency among students.
As of last August, a total of 4.6 million was spent on the DLP involving 296 daily schools, 15 religious schools and 68 full boarding schools.
The HIP programme was expended to an additional 1,106 schools after the pilot programme in 94 schools at Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah and Sarawak.
In addition to this, RM3.9 billion was spent for education and training subsector under the social sector expenditure, the second largest component, estimated at RM10.8 billion.
Expenditure for the subsector includes research and development (R&D), scholarships, upgrading and maintenance of infrastructure in schools, skills training centres, community colleges and universities.
Among the major ongoing projects includes the construction of MARA High Skills College in Selama, Perak, acquisition of teaching equipment as well as funds for technical and vocational education and training (TVET). -BERNAMA