Weekly Highlights

Budget 2021:Aspirations for the education sector.

Budget 2021 will be tabled by the Minister of Finance this Friday. Here are my aspirations for the budget, specifically for the education sector.

1.Increased allocations for Special Education and for Students with Special Needs

Since the “Zero Reject Policy” was launched by Pakatan Harapan in 2019, the number of Special Needs Students (MBK) enrolled in government schools has increased significantly.

The number of MBKs as of 30th June 2020 has reached 92,755 compared to 83,039 students in Jan 2019.

Accordingly, the allocation for Special Needs Student Allowance (EMK) has also increased from RM100 million in 2018 to RM155 million in 2020.

The PH government had also allocated RM23 million to equip our schools with facilities for the disabled.

By 2021, I hope EMK will continue to increase and more funds will also be allocated to make facilities disabled-friendly so that the Zero Rejection Policy will continue to benefit these students.

2.Creating a safer and more conducive school environment

In 2019, the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) had submitted 17 new school proposals to the Economic Planning Unit( EPU). Unfortunately, most of the MOE applications were rejected.

According to the National Union of the Teaching Profession Malaysia (NUTP), 57 schools are implementing a rotation system to ensure proper social distancing of students. Pupils take turns to return to school due to the very crowded school situation.

I hope areas like Kota Kemuning, Kota Warisan, and Bukit Jalil will be given priority for the 2021 Budget, so that new schools will be approved in those areas.” – Teo Nie Ching.

We should also note that the school maintenance fund has increased from RM600 million during the BN era to RM735 million during the PH era. Maintenance and improvement funds are important to ensure that our students can learn in a conducive environment. These funds are important to improve schools that are in poor condition.

3.Provide quality breakfast for B40 students

This program aims to provide nutritious food based on calorie and nutritional requirement as well as balanced eating practices will help ensure students practice breakfast intake, healthy lifestyle and stimulate the growth process, physical and cognitive growth of students at the primary school level.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the source of income for the B40 group. In this regard, more B40 students can benefit from this program, so that they get nutritious food.

I hope this program will get a bigger budget, so that more B40 students can be helped, also the cost per capita will increase from RM2.35. This can be studied so that better quality food can be supplied.

I fully understand the financial challenges facing the current government. Nevertheless, education is the foundation of national development. While our country is plagued by the Covid-19 pandemic, the interests and welfare of 4.7 million students cannot be ignored.

Teo Nie Ching,

MP Kulai

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