KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak said education at primary and secondary levels today is free with the government spending an average of RM8,900 for each student annually.
He said under Budget 2018, the government had allocated RM45.9 billion to the Education Ministry for operating and development expenditure.
“This includes providing school assistance to more than 5.2 million pupils nationwide,” Najib said in his latest official blog post.
He said the education expenditure of Malaysia was double that of the average Asean country, which strengthened the statement that Barisan Nasional (BN) had and would always stress on the importance of education for Malaysians.
In this regard, Najib expressed his appreciation of teachers throughout the country in conjunction with the start of the 2018 school session.
“I see so many doing more than their duties, going the extra mile, to make the first day at school experience a memorable one for our children.
“Some wore superhero attires, while others painted and decorated the classes. Congratulations to these dedicated teachers in educating our children,” Najib said.
According to Najib, BN had always stressed on the importance of education since the beginning by implementing various initiatives to ensure children, regardless of their family background, could have access to education.
“In the past, parents were burdened with compulsory fees, from special fees to additional school payment. Now all these fees have been abolished. What is left now is only contribution according to the requirement of the school.
“If in the past, the textbook loan was only given according to the income level of parents, now it is provided to all students,” Najib added.
Najib said the government would continue to provide funds to improve and maintain schools so that the children could study in a conducive environment.
“In Budget 2018, RM550 million was also provided for national schools, national type Chinese and Tamil schools, missionary schools, fully residential schools, Mara Junior Science Colleges, and government-assisted religious schools for this purpose.
“Apart from that, in Budget 2018, I also announced the largest allocation of RM2.5 billion to repair and rebuild old schools nationwide using the IBS or Industrial Building System,” said Najib.