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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Oct 29: The Federal government has allocated RM746 million under Budget 2022 for the upgrading of dilapidated schools with 165 projects in Sarawak and 112 projects in Sabah.
This sum is part of the RM52.6 billion that has been allocated for the education sector, while RM14.5 billion was set aside for the Higher Education Ministry.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said that the allocation was equivalent to 16 per cent of the total government expenditure.
“This budget will continue to prioritise education as the most important segment in the government expenditure,” he told the Dewan Rakyat when tabling Budget 2022 today.
The government, he said, has agreed to provide early education assistance of RM150, an increase from RM100 previously.
“A total of RM450 million will be allocated to benefit some three million eligible students.”
Attention will also be given to ensure a conducive learning environment for children, he added, with RM1 billion set aside for the maintenance and repair of schools.
“The allocation includes RM140 million for Jakim (Islamic Development Department Malaysia) to maintain tahfiz schools, public religious schools and registered pondok schools, compared to last year’s allocation of RM100 million.
“The maintenance allocation for more than 10,000 schools under the Ministry of Education will be distributed according to the type of school, based on a uniform rate.
“For 2022, RM120 million have been set aside to benefit 1,800 Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil.”
To strengthen the special education agenda, Tengku Zahfrul said that RM50 million has been allocated for the purchase of teaching equipment and to improve school facilities for those with special needs.
“Apart from that, a total of eight new special education school blocks will be built, including at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen in Perlis and SMK Agama Alor Gajah in Melaka.”
To ensure students from low-income families have sufficient nutrients for physical and mental growth, he added that the government will continue to provide daily milk supply under the Additional Food Plan with RM400 million allocated.
“Part of the allocation is specifically for local milk producers,” he said. — DayakDaily