KUALA LUMPUR – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dismissed allegations of injustice in the distribution of financial allocations to schools.
Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, said the government had never marginalised any school under its jurisdiction.
The approved annual allocations had been distributed equally in accordance with requirements to all schools without heed for the type of school or location, he said when winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2015 for the Education Ministry in the Dewan Rakyat.
“For example, this year, the operating expenditure allocated to 8,300 national (primary and secondary) schools is RM10.9 billion while that for 1,294 national type Chinese schools is RM2.4 billion and for 523 national type Tamil schools, RM0.97 billion,” he said here, yesterday.
Muhyiddin said the distribution of allocation to Chinese and Tamil schools was much better than that for the national schools in poor condition, especially in remote and rural areas and on islands.
Muhyiddin cited Budget 2015 and said RM450 million in maintenance allocation would be distributed to more than 8,000 primary schools, including government Chinese and Tamil schools, as well as national secondary schools compared to only RM50 million to 889 government-aided Chinese schools and 336 government-aided Tamil schools.
Therefore, he said, it was wrong for anyone to allege injustice in the distribution of allocations to schools.
He also said that Budget 2015 had raised the allocation for utilities payment for national type schools from RM2,000 to RM5,000. The government allocated RM5.284 billion as development expenditure for education for the three years from 2013 to 2015, he said.
Of the sum, the biggest allocation was for Sabah and Sarawak, with Sabah getting RM559.87 million and Sarawak, RM609.89 million, he added.
On the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), Muhyiddin said the government agreed to have hardcore defaulters listed on the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) beginning next year to educate them to be more disciplined and responsible in paying their debts.
“Defaulters can go to PTPTN to settle their debts and obtain a 20 per cent discount or make installment payments over 12 months and get a 10 per cent discount.
“They are also allowed to reschedule their payments by extending the period of repayment up to age 60,” he said.
As of Sept 30, PTPTN was able to collect only RM5.4 billion of the RM12 billion that was to have been paid back.
“Based on records as of Oct 1, some 173,985 hardcore defaulters had not repaid their loans for the 1999-2010 period (exceeding three years), estimated at RM1.23 billion,” he said.
On the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025, Muhyiddin said the Malaysian Higher Education Master Plan was being drawn up for streamlining with the blueprint.
“This will provide for seamless continuity in the education value chain from pre-school right up to tertiary level and on to the world of employment.
“God willing, if everything goes according to plan, the Malaysian Higher Education Master Plan would be launched in the first quarter of 2015,” he said. – BERNAMA