Archive for the ‘Scholarships and Loans’ Category

Employers who pay back their workers’ PTPTN loans get tax exemption this year.

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Now, employers can pay back as part of their initiative, ’ said Abdul Ghaffar.

EMPLOYERS who help to pay back their workers’ outstanding loans from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) will enjoy a tax exemption this year.

This tax benefit was announced by the Government last November under Budget 2019.

“We want to reach out to employers from the private sectors such as banking, telecommunications and multimedia to help by paying their employees’ PTPTN loans as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“It will be a win-win situation for both parties. PTPTN offered loans to students to produce the best human capital for the job market.

“Now, employers can pay back as part of their initiative, ” said PTPTN public relations and event management senior general manager Abdul Ghaffar Yusop at Menara PTPTN in Kuala Lumpur.

“We also want to turn their (employers’) heart and mind towards their staff’s well-being. They have to consider their employees as valuable assets who can contribute to the development of their industries, ” he added.

Abdul Ghaffar said workers whose loans have been paid up by their employer would be more productive, motivated and loyal to their company.

Employers can settle the loan in full or pay in monthly installments, till Dec 31 this year. They are prohibited from placing their workers on an employment bond as a condition for paying off their loan.

Employers also cannot make deductions from employees’ wages in relation to the company settling their PTPTN loans. Errant employers can face action from the Inland Revenue Board.

Abdul Ghaffar clarified that if the PTPTN borrower is self-employed or runs his own business, he will not be eligible for this tax exemption.

“He is also not eligible if he pays up the loans of employees who happen to be his siblings, spouse, children or grandchildren. This is to avoid manipulation, ” he said.

There is no minimum or maximum amount of loan payment for employers to enjoy the tax exemption. “If the employer pays up a RM50,000 loan, he is qualified for a RM50,000 tax exemption, ” he said.

Abdul Ghaffar said employers could offer PTPTN loan repayment as incentives to their staff.

“Some employers provide annual bonus or holiday packages to show their appreciation for their employees.

“Now they can offer to pay their employees’ PTPTN loans and enjoy the tax exemption.”

Hii settled PTPTN loans for two of his project engineers.Hii settled PTPTN loans for two of his project engineers.

He urged corporate bodies, multinational corporations and government-linked companies to help employees pay back their staff’s PTPTN loan.

Vector Infotech Sdn Bhd managing director Hii Ding Sin, who supports the employer loan repayment plan, said his network solutions-based company has helped its two project engineers with their PTPTN loans.

“We paid about RM37,000 in full (loan) settlement for a project engineer in June this year. As for the other project engineer, we paid for him more than RM26,000 in August. This is incentive for them to increase productivity while working with us, ” he said.

Hii shared that the management would be paying for more employees’ PTPTN loans in monthly instalments, as part of the company’s commitment to help society and enable more people to pursue education.

“I came from a poor family, and it is important to support PTPTN’s contributions to help produce more competent workers from university level, ” Hii added.

By M. MAGESWARI
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/education/2019/08/25/employers-who-pay-back-their-workers-ptptn-loans-get-tax-exemption-this-year#hr42chVy3bUgEKyq.99

DPM: Unwise to impose travel ban on PTPTN defaulters.

Monday, May 20th, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says restricting overseas travel against borrowers who fail to repay loans from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is not appropriate and should be reviewed.

She said the government had yet to make any decision on the matter and the proposed restriction should be reviewed.

“We haven’t made any decision. When did we discuss it? PTPTN has provided space and opportunities for the students to pursue higher studies but there are a handful who did not service their PTPTN study loans (after completing their studies).

“So rolling money is tough for PTPTN but to impose travel restrictions is not a wise thing to do. It needs to be reviewed,” she said.

PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan was reported earlier to have said that re-imposing the travel ban on errant borrowers was among the ideas received during PTPTN’s ongoing public engagement sessions.

Meanwhile, in JERLUN, Wan Saiful urged the public to channel feedback to PTPTN via the right channel, the Kertas Konsultasi Rakyat (KKR) which is provided on its official website.

Speaking to reporters after a PTPTN Ramadan programme, he said PTPTN could only act on feedback provided via that platform and not from social media.

Bernama

Read more @ https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/05/20/dpm-unwise-to-impose-travel-ban-on-ptptn-defaulters/#Ehpi3h2PIdfWq80e.99

RM50 million State Govt scholarship open for application

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

Yusof (centre) announces details of the State Government scholarship while Jenifer (right) and others look on.

KOTA KINABALU: Application for State Government scholarship is open today (March 26) for eligible students from Sabah and Labuan.

Minister of Education and Innovation Datuk Dr Yusof B. Yacob said the State Government has allocated about RM50 million to fund existing scholarship recipients and new applicants.

He said the State Government would be offering scholarship for 12 diploma courses and 34 undergraduate degree courses in public higher learning institutions (IPTA) and private higher learning institutions (IPTS).

“Students can apply for courses they desire but my advice is to pursue the courses listed by the State Government because these are the courses that meet the industry demand,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

Dr Yusof said students could apply for the scholarship online at www.biasiswa.sabah.gov.my before the deadline on April 25, 2019. Students could also check the status of their application online.

The diploma courses listed include actuarial science, surveying, engineering, health and livestock farming, property management, accounting, agriculture, pure science, architecture and information technology.

Diploma scholarship applicants must pass the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) with at least 7As.

Meanwhile, the undergraduate or first degree courses that are offered scholarship include actuarial science, aquaculture, economy, pharmacy, engineering, entrepreneurship, communication, surveying, accounting, dentistry, forestry, fishery, agriculture, medicine, veterinary, psychology, environmental science, music, tourism and hospitality, education, Islamic studies, marine biological science, biotechnology, computer science, among others.

Scholarship applicants for first degree courses must pass Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) with at least a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.33; diploma with CGPA 3.50; obtain at least Jayyid in Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) or pass matriculation or foundation programmes with CGPA 3.50.

Applicants for medicine, dentistry and pharmacy courses must obtain at least a CGPA of 3.8 for STPM, diploma or matriculation.

The age limit for diploma and undergraduate degree scholarship is not more than 20 and 25 years old respectively.

Dr Yusof said there was no fixed quota for the scholarship but the State Government would seek to sponsor students who have scored outstanding results in SPM and STPM.

“Based on our records, there are 148 students who scored 10As in SPM and 61 students who obtained 4As in STPM in Sabah.”

He said students who have obtained an offer letter from university could apply for the scholarship as well.

“For those who have not, we can assist them in enrolling into higher learning institutions.

“This is to prevent students from getting into unaccredited institutions, or select courses that are irrelevant to industry demand.”

He said there have been mistakes made in the past where students who were sponsored attended universities that were not even recognized, or pursued courses that were not relevant to industry needs.

As such, he advised students to change their mindset and opt for courses recommended that would meet needs of the industry, thereby help to develop the State.

In addition, Dr Yusof said the State Government has set aside 250 slots for poor students, or about 10 students from each district, to pursue higher education in IPTA or IPTS.

“The higher learning institutions must have Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with industry players so that these students would be employed upon graduation.

“Our aim to bring them out of poverty.”

He said the average sponsorship of RM20,000 for each poor student would pay for their tuition fees, living costs and accommodation.

Dr Yusof continued to say that his ministry would look into increasing the budget for scholarships so that more Sabahan students could enter IPTA or IPTS.

Nonetheless, he also encouraged students to look into scholarships offered by other sponsors as well, including Yayasan Sabah, Petronas, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) and other foundations.

Read more @ https://www.theborneopost.com/2019/03/26/rm50-million-state-govt-scholarship-open-for-application/

Scholarship offer a positive step in poverty eradication.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob

KOTA KINABALU: State Assembly Deputy Speaker Datuk George Ginibun has applauded the State Government’s efforts to eradicate poverty in Sabah.

“I want to offer my heartfelt thanks on behalf of the poor students in Sabah to our Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob for launching what would be a first good news for our poor young Sabahans in 2019.

“It is indeed a great piece of news and a small step forward by the Education and Innovation Ministry with the recent announcement to offer Sabah scholarships to 250 poor students to further their studies in vocational courses,” he opined.

“It’s just been a week into the New Year and we see another positive move by the Sabah State Government in an effort to reduce poverty in Sabah,” he said, adding that Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony had said the State’s development, particularly in the rural areas, needs to be further increased to ensure the socio-economic gap between the urban and rural areas can be narrowed.

“This is because the State is still number one in terms of poverty rate and the highest in terms of joblessness in the country which is at 2.9 per cent and 5.5 percent respectively,” he pointed out.

According to him, the minister disclosed that the State Government aims to increase the present pace of development in the State with the assistance of the Federal Government.

“I’m sure the Sabah Government through certain ministries will continue to come up with more initiations to help reduce poverty in Sabah from now on. Sadly to say, poverty in Sabah is amongst one of the worse in Malaysia and there are simply not enough time and effort to eradicate poverty here.

“We faced a multidimensional situation when it comes to poverty in Sabah and single factor solution is only one step forward. Education is definitely one of the main culprits to tackle amongst the hard core poor in our rural areas,” said Ginibun who disclosed that he too had a hard time growing up as his family was poor.

The Deputy State Assembly Speaker pointed out that according to Ted K. Bradshaw, The Academic Senate of University of California, comprehensive development efforts for individuals, based on strategic efforts toward self-sufficiency through education is one form of reduction of poverty that is very effective for any country in the long term.

“I can totally relate to Ted K. Bradshaw studies as I have come from an extreme hard core poor situation when l was growing up and education surely must be one of the main contributing factors to bringing me to where I am today.

“I am extremely passionate in the topic of poverty in Sabah and I would sincerely offer my assistance in terms of advice, support and encouragement to any efforts to reduce poverty here,” explained Ginibun.

Read more @ http://www.theborneopost.com/2019/01/06/scholarship-offer-a-positive-step-in-poverty-eradication/

Don’t just fix repayments

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
Higher education institutions pitching their offerings at an education fair at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. FILE PIC

THE government’s strategy to reform student loans through the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is now finally becoming clearer.

After much reflection, the emphasis is on improving the repayment rates from borrowers rather than reforming the system as a whole. As always, the weight of the problem will fall on the students.

The introduction of tiered repayments between two per cent and 15 per cent based on income of more than RM1,000 per month angered many people who argued that this is a breach of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) election manifesto to limit repayments to those earning more than RM4,000 per month.

On reflection, it may be too early to be so harsh. Perhaps the new policy is better viewed as a sensible mechanism for the government to stabilise the system and then raise the threshold from RM1,000 to RM4,000 before GE15

The real disappointment in the PTPTN reform announced in the 2019 Budget is that it fails to address the substantial structural issues underlying the use of PTPTN funds, particularly in private universities. Just fixing the repayments will not settle the PTPTN problem — we need to know how the universities are spending the billions in PTPTN funds that they receive each year.

Our research on private university finances, to be presented at a public lecture at Monash University today shows, shows that billions of ringgit are transferred out of the private universities each year.

Based on audited financial accounts from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) for 75 out of 96 private universities, we estimated that in 2016 transfers out in the form of dividends, taxes, marketing and senior manager salaries amounted to around RM838 million. This is equivalent to 41 per cent of the PTPTN loans allocated to the institutions in our sample in that year.

From 2010-2016, we estimated that at least RM4.7 billion has been transferred out of the private higher education institutions (HEIs) in our sample. This is equivalent to 29 per cent of the PTPTN loans over the same period.

The biggest share of these transfers-out goes to pay the owners of the companies that run the private universities. Between 2010 and 2016, RM1.98 billion was transferred out of the private HEIs as dividends to owners. This is equivalent to nine per cent of the PTPTN loans transferred into the system.

Ironically, this means that students are borrowing large amounts of money to pay shareholders rather than to pay for their own education. In 2016, the amount of dividends paid was enough to retire 21 per cent of the PTPTN debt allocated to students at the private universities in our sample in that year.

Another drag on resources for the private universities is the government itself. SSM data shows that RM781 million in taxes was paid between 2010 and 2016. In another irony, to save money, PTPTN reduced the maximum loan for private students by 15 per cent in 2014 but this cost the government RM90 million in lost taxes due to the negative impact on private HEI profits.

Despite falling profits and an increasingly unstable financial environment for private universities, their senior managers are very well paid. Over the period 2010-2016 we estimated that RM672 million was paid to vice-chancellors and chief executives across the underperforming private higher education sector. This is despite worsening profits and rising financial instability.

The intense competition for students among private universities leads to high spending on marketing, advertising and recruitment agents. Our conservative estimate is that RM204 million per year or RM1.43 billion between 2010 and 2016 has been spent on marketing.

This is enough to build one new private university per year or to fund the income of three average-sized private universities for the same period. Actually, anecdotal evidence suggests that as much as RM700 million to RM800 million may be wasted on marketing, advertising and recruitment each year across the almost 100 private HEIs.

It goes without saying that all of this money lost to the system from dividends, taxes, marketing and salaries could be better spent on improving the financial stability of the universities and raising the quality of education for the students. It would also go some way to improving the pay and conditions of academics and staff.

The solutions must include a combination of efforts from the government and the private universities themselves. For the government, solving the tax problem is a simple matter of giving tax relief, on specific terms, to private universities that show they are investing profits back into their stakeholders.

Cutting marketing expenditure requires a mature collaboration between private universities to create a new centralised system for recruitment of students. This would cut the need for intense head-on competition and the high, wasted costs that this creates.

Sadly, I fear that we will wait a long time for this to happen if left to the universities themselves — so the government may have to lead on this as well.

Dealing with salaries requires that senior managers in private universities and their public counterparts for that matter, follow the example of listed companies and now even ministers in the government, and publish their pay and bonuses. This would help to ensure that they can be held to account by shareholders, students and staff alike.

By Geoffrey Williams.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2018/11/434887/dont-just-fix-repayments

Budget 2019: PTPTN initiatives announced

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

PETALING JAYA: To ensure the sustainability of the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN), the government has announced several initiatives in Budget 2019.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said these include the option of payment through deductions of between 2% and 15% from the borrower’s salary, based on their monthly income rate.

This system will only be applicable to borrowers earning more than RM1,000 a month.

Additionally, a tax break will be given to companies that assist its staff to settle their loans by the year ending 2019, Lim said.

Individual income tax breaks for the National Education Saving Scheme will also be increased from RM6,000 to RM8,000.

Finally, the government has also announced that all remaining loans for borrowers aged above 60 and earning less than RM4,000 a month have been waived, benefiting 350 borrowers with a cost of RM4.2 million.

By Martin Vengadesan
Read more @t https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/02/budget-2019-ptptn-initiatives-announced/#plYddkR5K6U1ou8T.99

PTPTN loan cut affects students intake

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Liew (centre), flanked by Gabriel and Wong, with the rest of the combined delegation from ATI College and MICCI Sabah Branch.

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew will bring the issue of shortage of skilled manpower in the burgeoning tourism industry to the attention of State Government.

She gave the assurance during a meeting with officials from the Asian Tourism International (ATI) College and Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) recently.

“Based on our estimation and accurately so, tourism is the third biggest revenue-earner for Sabah after palm oil and crude oil. For
this reason, the State Government and my ministry are really focusing on it. I am aware of the increasing demand for more trained personnel in the tourism sector, now that we are seeing an influx of tourists from China in particular.

“I would raise the college’s request for financial aid with the State Government. Apart from the PTPTN loans for students, we will try to seek sponsorship from Yayasan Sabah and big corporations if possible,” she said.

Briefing Liew on the financial woes facing ATI College, Executive Chairman Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau urged the new Government to view it seriously.

“Lack of human capital development for the tourism industry is a serious issue. It is very alarming for Sabah. We (ATI College) provide crucial manpower for the tourism, culinary and F&B industries.

“However, the major slash on PTPTN loans from the Federal Government has affected our intake of students. We had appealed to the previous government but to no avail.

“Loans aside, private colleges in Sabah like ours have never enjoyed grants or allocations from the government unlike the independent
Chinese secondary schools and government-run university colleges, community colleges and polytechnic institutions,” he pointed out.

The minister concurred with Wong that the focus should also be on developing tourism awareness among the youths, especially those from the rural districts like Kota Marudu, Pitas and Keningau, among others, in the interest of human resource development and career prospects.

“Some 60 to 70 per cent of our ATI College students are from rural areas.

“They need help as the government loans are just sufficient to cover the tuition fees. The college has a capacity of 700 to 800, of whom
70 to 80 per cent apply for loans. For a two-and-a-half-year diploma course in culinary arts, the cost is about RM20,000 per student.

As the PTPTN loan has been slashed down to RM12,000, the college has to subsidise heavily to the tune of about RM8,000. We also provide free transport and accommodation to trainee students,” said the president of the Sabah Association of Private Institutions of Higher Learning.

Wong, who is also chairman of MICCI Sabah Branch, presented the following requests to Liew.

* Provision of a State Government scholarship for the Tourism,
Hospitality and Culinary Programme
* Provision of funding for government loans to enable more students to pursue education under the Tourism, Hospitalty and Culinary Progamme
* Assistance for poor rural students to pursue studies at the college
* Creating a “Tourism Lab” for all trainers, lecturers and other players in the industry to work together

With a five-star rating, ATI College has been in operation for 21 years. Wong said it is the only homegrown skill training institution
in Sabah offering tourism-related courses, and also trains potential tourist guides. These include Diploma in Diving & Resort Management, Diploma in Tourism Management, Diploma in Hotel Management, Diploma in Culinary Arts, Diploma in Pastry Arts and Certificate in Culinary Arts.

Based on a study, he said approximately 40,000 students graduate at SPM level each year but only 20,000 of them pursue further studies.

“What will happen to the other 20,000?” he asked.

In his briefing, Wong, who is also chairman of MICCI Sabah Branch, disclosed that there is 95 per cent employability of graduates within the tourism, culinary and F&B industries.

“The remaining five per cent either start their own business in the F&B industry or venture into other economic sectors,” he said.

According to him, ATI College graduates are much sought after by hotels at the operational and managerial levels, apart from travel
agencies.

Wong, however, lamented that trainers in the tourism sector are “unsung heroes” as not much attention was paid to their grievances in the past.

“I hope the minister will look into this aspect. Trainers are contributing significantly to manpower development in Malaysia,” he
added.

With full service airlines from China and the presence of different categories of tourists, Datuk John Lo, a member of the ATI Board of
Governors, said there is a pressing need for trained personnel to service high-end tourism.

“Tourism personnel are the determinant of success of our tourism and hospitality industry,” he said.

Noting the decline in student enrolment at ATI College, MICCI Sabah Branch vice-chairman Lee Swi Heng said this phenomenon had resulted in the shortage of skilled personnel in the tourism industry. “Most of the hotels are facing this problem marked by 30 to 40 unfilled vacancies. We are looking at 10 per cent drop in terms of manpower. Some of the hotels could be even worse. As more hotels are coming up, the level of service provided to guests will be adversely affected. In the long term, this could give rise to the issue of visitors not coming to Sabah,” he shared.

Meanwhile, the minister said some of the suggestions made by the delegation are in the pipeline awaiting implementation.

“For instance, the ministry through the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is in the process of converting Gaya Street into a ‘walking street’ for tourists only at night. This is an ideal place for them to sample local delicacies and buy Sabah souvenirs. It is opening soon. The spot will be closed to traffic temporarily. We will try it out for three nights a week, and if it works well, then we will have it every night,” Liew enthused.

She was responding to John who said based on feedback from Chinese tourists, they have no place to spend their money while holidaying in the State capital.

She also took note of his call for the revival of the now-defunct Sabah International Hotels Association, which had been absorbed by the Malaysia Association of Hotels.

She reiterated that the issues of managing dirty toilets, opening of more immigration counters at the KKIA and making available
Chinese-speaking officers to cater to Chinese tourists, were being addressed.

“Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB) has assured me that everything will be in order by the end of the year,” she said.

The meeting with the minister also revolved around tourism tax, shortage of tourist guides in Sandakan and Tawau, RSTG (Regional Sabah Tourist Guide) Training Course which offers a JPK Skill Certificate for Tour Guide (JPK is Department of Skill Development) and the Sabah Hospitality Fiesta. According to RSTG lead trainer Lim Su Khiong, this programme is only for Sabah where the training curriculum was designed by tourism players.

“Rest assured, I will work on what has been raised. And I will look into the suggestion that a ‘mystery shopper’ programme be put in place. The purpose is for ‘mystery shoppers’ to check out things on the ground and report directly to me. In fact, I am a ‘mystery shopper’ myself. Every time I travel, I would check the condition of toilets at the KKIA or those at other airports in major towns,

Read more @ http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/10/11/ptptn-loan-cut-affects-students-intake/

Govt to ensure PTPTN loan payment formula will not burden borrower

Thursday, October 4th, 2018
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik during an interview with Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI) today. NSTP/NURUL SHAFINA JEMENON

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Education will ensure the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan payment formula will not burden the borrower, especially those who have just started working.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the minimum pay-back rate for students was still being studied.

“PTPTN debtors have to pay back the loans, depending on one’s affordability.

“However, the implementation criteria is still under discussion between the Ministry and PTPTN to ensure the suggested method is not going to be a burden,” he said during an interview with Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI) today.

He was responding when asked about the proposed loan payment formula by PTPTN which involved the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Meanwhile in an interview with MHI, Maszlee said teachers should be recognised as a ‘hero’ to their students, someone who was always responsible for their academics and morals.

“Previously teachers were dedicated to guide their students. However today, teachers are always busy with clerical work

By Siti Nur Zawani Miscon -

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2018/10/417873/govt-ensure-ptptn-loan-payment-formula-will-not-burden-borrower

Do not politicise PTPTN: borrowers must pay back loans, says Dr Maszlee.

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

KODIANG (Bernama): The Education Ministry has called on all quarters, including the opposition, to cease linking the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) with the Pakatan Harapan (PH)  manifesto for the 14th general election.

Its minister, Dr Maszlee Malik, said this was because all borrowers, no matter of what loans, were obliged to settle their repayments.

“Whatever the manifesto says, the borrowers have to pay back the loan.

“The opposition, they just want to politicise the issue. This concerns one’s behaviour and moral; when you borrow money, you have to pay, even at RM10 a month,” he told reporters after a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Siputeh on Sunday (Sept 23).

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had three days ago expressed regret over the untrustworthy attitude of PTPTN borrowers who did not pay back their loans, resulting in arrears totalling RM36bil.

According to Dr Mahathir, the loan defaulters included those who already secured jobs.

PH, in its last general election manifesto, among others, stated that it would defer repayment of PTPTN loans for borrowers earning RM4,000 a month and below.

BERNAMA.
Read more @
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/09/23/do-not-politicise-ptptn-borrowers-must-pay-back-loans-says-dr-maszlee/#0wh496sZEA0Gbg5k.99

RM10m aid for students

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The State Government through the Sabah Foundation Group (KYS) will give a one-off assistance this year worth RM10 million to bright SPM and STPM Sabahan students to continue their studies at higher leaning institutions.

Chief Minister cum Sabah Foundation Board of Trustees Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said at least 5,000 students will benefit, including from less fortunate backgrounds.

“This year we have set aside RM10 million as a one off assistance for approximately 5,000 students including those less fortunate students whose parents do not have the means to fund their studies.

“There are some parents who also end up incurring debt in order to assist their children to further their studies after SPM and STPM.”

Shafie said the number of scholarship recipients would also be increased in the years to come and there will be recipients from each district in the state.

He said the initiative is proof of the commitment under the new State Government to provide opportunities to young Sabahans to continue their studies to university or tertiary level.

“If the state’s finances are good we will ensure the assistance will be increased next year as educational knowledge and human capital development is one of the priorities of the state government.

This is something important for us,” he said, after presentation of 29th State Scholarship Awards at the Tun Ahmad Raffae Auditorium, Menara Tun Mustapha, Thursday.

This year, 40 excellent SPM students received State scholarships compared to 25 last year.

Shafie said the State Government will also set up at State level institutions that are linked to industries in the State Government’s focus.

“We have set up such institutions as Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) before so we don’t need the approval of any kind of authority to do so. We just set it up and of course we will ensure the school’s curriculum will be in line with the industry’s needs.”

Also present was State Education and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob and State Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul.

Meanwhile Sabah Foundation Deputy Director Datuk Rosmawati Lasuki said the assistance showed the commitment of the State Government to give more opportunities to Sabahans to pursue their education to a higher level.

She said KYS will continue to work closely with the state government in efforts to provide education assistance to less fortunate students to pursue their studies.

by Neil Chan.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=126104