DEPUTY Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy made an announcement today on the allocation approved by the state government to be channeled to the national schools in Penang that require some critical maintenance work for a better learning environment.
“During the exco meeting which was held on October 3, the state government has approved an annual allocation of RM3 million for national schools both at primary and secondary levels in Penang. For almost 10 years the state government has been giving allocation to the national type Tamil and Chinese schools, mission schools and religious schools which will still be continued and this year we have decided to give allocation to the national schools as well.
“The disbursement of the allocation which is ‘one-off’, is meant specially for critical maintenance work such as the upgrading of classrooms, roofs and toilets which need to be rectified urgently as they concern the safety of the students and also to provide a conducive learning environment.
“With the current financial constraint at federal level, we have taken the initiative to help out the national schools through this programme which will have a committee of its own,” Ramasamy told the media.
The committee is chaired by Ramasamy who holds the portfolio of Economic Planning, Education, Human Resources and Science, Technology & Innovation, and its members consist of exco member for Domestic and International Trade, Consumer Affairs and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, Sungai Acheh state assemblyman Zulkifli Ibrahim and representatives from Penang state education department (JPNPP).
According to Ramasamy, the maximum allocation per school is RM200,000, however, if the schools are in dire situation in terms of their infrastructure and they need more than that, the committee is willing to take it into consideration.
JPNPP director Mohd Jamil Mohamed thanked the state government for coming up with such an idea as no other states have done that.
“The national schools (numbering more than 200) in Penang which are actually fully funded by the federal government will be assisted financially in terms of the infrastructure maintenance by the Penang state government which is the first in Malaysia, I feel the schools in Penang are lucky.
“I would like to thank the state government for their concern over the education development in the state and this will indeed help to enhance it.
“We will form a small committee in JPNPP to screen the applications looking at the need and urgency of the schools which will be then forwarded to the Penang State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN) who will be presenting it to the Special Committee for Fully Aided Schools,” said Jamil.
Story & Pix by Tanushalini Moroter