The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has tabled Malaysia Budget 2013 at Parliament yesterday.
With a theme “PROSPERING THE NATION, ENHANCING WELL-BEING OF THE RAKYAT: A PROMISE FULFILLED” this will be the last budget before the general election which expected to be held before March 2013.
Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025
On 11 September 2012, the Ministry of Education launched the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025 Preliminary Report to ensure the national education system is capable of optimising the potential of each Malaysian child.
In the 2013 Budget, a sum of RM38.7 billion is allocated to the Ministry of Education (MOE) for operating and development expenditure.
Enhance Teachers Capability
Measures to increase the competency and quality of teachers are critical to support the success of the education system. Thus, in addition to the allocation of RM38.7 billion to MOE, the Government will allocate another RM500 million to enhance teaching skills in core subjects such as Bahasa Malaysia, English, Science and Mathematics through the Higher Order Thinking Skills approach. The allocation includes the establishment of an Education Delivery Unit to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the transformation plan.
Special Fund for the Building, Improvement and Maintenance of Schools
In the 2012 Budget, the Government allocated RM1 billion under the Special Fund for the Building, Improvement and Maintenance of Schools, particularly to cater for immediate needs to refurbish school buildings, maintenance, purchase of school equipment and construction of additional blocks. Additional RM1 billion will be given to this Special Fund. Of this amount, RM400 million will be channelled to national schools; RM100 million to national-type Chinese schools; RM100 million to national-type Tamil schools; RM100 million to mission schools; RM100 million to Government-assisted religious schools; RM100 million to boarding schools; and RM100 million to Maktab Rendah Sains MARA.
In early childhood education, the quality of pre-school education is critical to equip children with basic education. For this, RM1.2 billion will be allocated for pre-school education to Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat, MOE, PERMATA and Department of National Unity and Integration. In addition, RM380 million will be allocated to the MOE for placement of kindergarten teachers.
High quality pre-school and childcare services are imperative to ensure children receive proper care while nurturing foster positive mental development. For this the Government proposes the following incentives:
First: Launching grant of RM10,000 to assist operators of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) private centres in opening new high quality pre-schools. It is estimated that 1,000 new private ECCE centres will benefit from this initiative;
Second: A double deduction on the allowance or subsidies provided to the employees and expenses for the maintenance of childcare centres be given to the employers;
Third: Income tax exemption for 5 years and industrial building allowance at the rate of 10% a year be given to operators of pre-school and private childcare centres; and
Fourth: Income tax exemption for 5 years and industrial building allowance at the rate of 10% a year be given to operators of private pre-schools.
Currently, there are many disabled children from low-income families who do not receive early education due to lack of pre-schools for disabled children (TASKA OKU). For this, the Government will implement a pilot project for TASKA OKU in six categories of disabled children, namely down syndrome, autism, blind or partially sighted, hearing and speaking disabilities, physical disability and learning difficulties.
Training in technical and vocational fields
Moving on to the issue of knowledgeable, creative and innovative human capital, training programmes will be developed to hone new skills in line with future needs of industry in a high-income and developed economy. For this purpose, RM3.7 billion will be allocated in 2013 to train students in technical and vocational fields.
Graduate Employability Blueprint by end-2012
Every year about 180,000 students graduate with diplomas and degrees from institutions of higher learning. To assist unemployed graduates, the Government will launch the Graduate Employability Blueprint by end-2012. The Blueprint will focus on strengthening the employability of graduates. In this regard, the Government will establish the Graduate Employability Taskforce with an allocation of RM200 million.
1Malaysia Training Scheme Programme
The Government has implemented the 1Malaysia Training Scheme Programme, also known as SL1M, to increase employability of graduates through soft skills training and on-the-job-training in private companies through double deduction on expenses incurred by the companies. This incentive is effective from 1 June 2012 until 31 December 2016.
Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK)
The Government will allocate RM440 million to the Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK), to provide loans for trainees to undergo skills training. This measure will benefit nearly 40,000 trainees undertaking the Malaysia Skill Certificate Level One to Five. The Government will allocate RM366 million to upgrade as well as purchase equipment for Industrial Training Institutes and National Youth Vocational Institutes (IKBN).
In line with the objective to transform the country’s key industries towards high technology, innovation and high income, various skills training programmes will be implemented. Towards this, focus will be given to create a professional and talented workforce in selected industries, including oil and gas, shipping, ICT, creative and biotechnology. In 2013, about 5,000 trainees are expected to enrol in these programmes. Additionally, PETRONAS will utilise IKBN in Pengerang, Johor to train 300 youths for the oil and gas sector by end of 2012 to meet the needs of the RAPID project.
Schooling Assistance of RM100 to all primary and secondary students
The Government is very concerned about the cost of higher education. To ease financial burden of parents, the Government proposes that the existing tax relief on the children’s higher education amounting to RM4,000 per person be increased to RM6,000, commencing from year of assessment 2013. The measure reflects the Government’s commitment and focus on investment to enhance the level of education of the young generation that will benefit the country in the future.
Tax Relief on National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN)
To encourage the savings habit for education, the current relief of RM3,000 for savings in the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN) will be increased to RM6,000.
Repayment of full loan within a year upon this announcement effective from 1 October 2012 until 30 September 2013, a discount of 20% will be given on their loan. For those with consistent repayment of PTPTN loan in accordance to their repayment schedule, a 10% discount per annum on their repayment will be given effective from 1 October 2012.