Education ministry seeks more funds for national, state religious schools

The education ministry says the government, through Budget 2019, has approved allocations for maintenance and upgrading of schools. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Education Minister Maszlee Malik has submitted an application for an additional allocation to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for the maintenance and repair of national schools and state religious schools.

In a statement today, the education ministry said the matter was still under consideration by the finance ministry.

“The perception that the minister and the education ministry are not concerned about the wellbeing of students and schools in the country, especially national schools and state religious schools, is indeed baseless,” it said.

On the recent allocation to private secondary Chinese schools, totalling RM12 million, it explained that it was not an allocation from the education ministry.

”Instead, it was a special fund channelled directly by the finance ministry to the schools.”

The statement said social media reports, implying that the education ministry was focusing more on the development of Chinese schools, simply based on several announcements by Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching, were not true.

“In the case questioned by certain quarters, the ministry would like to explain that the allocation for maintenance of national-type Chinese schools, announced by the deputy minister of late, was an allocation approved for 2018. It was not an allocation for 2019.

“Since the allocation was for 2018, the ministry has to channel it to the respective school governing boards before the closing of the 2018 account,” it said.

The ministry said the government, through Budget 2019, had also approved allocations for maintenance and upgrading of schools.

It said RM527 million was meant for national schools, RM250 million for national religious schools; RM50 million for national-type Chinese schools; RM50 million for national-type Tamil schools; RM50 million for full-boarding schools; RM50 million for government-aided religious schools; RM50 million for missionary schools; RM15 million for Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan/conforming schools; and RM12 million for private Chinese secondary schools.

Another RM50 million was allocated to Mara Junior Science Colleges; RM50 million for tahfiz schools and RM25 million for registered pondok schools, the statement added.