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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 6: The federal government will implement 184 construction projects and install tube well water supply with a total cost of RM120 million for schools in Sabah and Sarawak.
Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz emphasised that the Ministry of Education continues to receive the largest allocation of RM50.4 billion or 15.6 per cent of the total government expenditure.
“Education is the most important investment in ensuring a better quality of life for future generations,” he said when tabling the Budget 2021 in Parliament today.
In addition, Zafrul informed that an additional cost of RM725 million will also be allocated to upgrade buildings and infrastructure in 50 dilapidated schools nationwide.
To ensure that students from low-income families get daily nutritional content for healthy physical and mental growth, he said that the government will improve the Supplementary Meal Plan by providing milk supply daily compared to twice a week currently.
“An allocation of RM420 million will be provided and part of the procurement will be reserved for local milk producers,” he added.
To ensure a conducive learning environment, he added that a total of RM800 million will be provided for the maintenance and repair of government schools and government aided schools.
“This allocation also includes the work of upgrading and building open halls or covered structures for students to assemble in a comfortable and safe place in government schools,” he said.
To better provide for the children in the special needs stream, Zalfrul added that RM45 million will be provided for this purpose.
“For higher education, a total of RM14.4 billion will be allocated to the Ministry of Higher Education.
“This includes, RM50 million for infrastructure and equipment replacement in public universities,” he added.
To ensure internet connectivity in institutions of higher learning, he said that the government has allocated RM50 million to upgrade the Malaysian Research & Education Network or MYREN access line to 500Mbps to 10Gbps.
“Furthermore, to ensure that PTPTN loan holders from institutions of higher learning are able to continue their learning online, the government, working with BSN will provide RM100 million to finance the BSN MyRinggit-i COMSIS Scheme which is a laptop loan scheme.
“To further encourage parents to save for financing tertiary education of their children, tax relief up to RM8,000 on net annual savings in Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN) will be extended until the year of assessment 2022,” he said. — DayakDaily