PTPTN to help more poor parents tap RM1 billion education fund

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chairman of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).

KAMPAR: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) will continue to promote the “matching grant” incentive scheme to encourage more parents from low-income households to save for their children’s higher education.

Corporation chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said only RM2.41 million of the federal government’s allocation of RM1 billion since 2003 had been used so far, with only a small number of recipients benefitting. There were about 1,670 depositors holding 1,803 accounts as of March 31.

“We will redouble promotion efforts and campaigns on the matching grant to ensure that the B40 (low-income) group fully utilises the benefits provided by the government,” he said.

Wan Saiful said the matching grant incentive was given free for up to RM10,000 for a B40 family to save for their children’s higher education. It was announced in the 2003 Budget by Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his first tenure as prime minister.

Wan Saiful said the corporation had a target of accumulating a total of RM1 billion through 500,000 new accounts to be opened this year. Up to June 30, there were 256,000 new accounts.

“It is a challenge for PTPTN to ensure that the target can be achieved,” he said. New measures were needed, including collaboration with the state governments.

Wan Saiful was here for the launching of the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) in Perak.

State executive councillor Hasnul Zulkarnain Abd Munaim said Perak was among the first to introduce the SSPN initiative by providing donations in the form of SSPN accounts to Perak-born children under the Perak State Education Savings Fund programme channelled through Yayasan Perak.

A RM200 contribution would be made directly to an SSPN account for every newborn child.

The corporation (PTPTN) handed over SSPN-i savings accounts to 960 children, with each receiving RM100 in the form of an SSPN-i account that PTPTN will open in collaboration with the State Education Department.