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Malaysia: 2014 Budget: RM52.8b allocation to empower education and training Read more: 2014 Budget: RM52.8b allocation to empower education and training

New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 25 October 2013 - The Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and the National Higher Education Strategic Plan 2011-2015 were introduced by the government to equip young people with the knowledge and training to meet the needs of a rapidly challenging environment.

According to the Economic Report 2013/2014 issued by the Finance Ministry today, a total of RM52.8 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Education for operating and development expenditure, RM36.3 billion of which was spent as at the end of August this year.  

The government established the Educational Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) on March 19 with RM500 million allocated in phases for a period of three years to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of implementation of the Education Blueprint 2013-2025, with a total of RM100 million disbursed as of June for implementation of several initiatives, namely student learning, enhancing quality of teachers and school leaders, operating transformation, structural system and management of PADU.   

To strengthen early childhood education, the government allocated RM1.2 billion to the Ministry of Education, Social Welfare Department, the Department of National Unity and Integration and Permata Division in the Prime Minister's Department to equip children with basic education, as of September. A total of 502 Taska Permata are in operation nationwide to provide early childhood education to about 10,200 children aged two to four years.  

In addition, 16,242 pre-schools are operating nationwide benefiting more than 451,000 children aged four to six years, and to further enhance the quality of education, more than RM18 million was allocated for the placement of 441 new teachers.  

The report also said that about RM10 million was provided to assist private operators of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) centres to establish high-quality nurseries. As of August, a total of 120 nurseries had been assisted.

Meanwhile, in line with the current situation where graduates are still facing unemployment, the government has launched the National Graduate Employability Blueprint (GEB) 2012-2017, which will serve as a guide to help higher education institutions in developing human capital strategies to meet the demands of the industries and, as at August, more than 19,300 diploma and degree graduates had benefited through the implementation of 54 employability programmes involving an expenditure of RM36.5 million.  

On the issue of shortage of skilled labour, especially in technical and vocational skills, the government has allocated about RM3.8 billion to train students in technical and vocational skills, provided loans for trainees to undergo skills training through the Skills Development Fund Corporation, as well as upgraded and repaired buildings and purchased educational equipment for industrial training institutes (ILP) and national youth vocational institutes (IKBN). As of end-August, RM132 million was spent on 35 training institutes.

To help Indian youths who are unable to enter the job market due to, among others, lack of opportunity and low education, the government has introduced the Indian Youth Skills Training Programme, implemented by the Ministry of Human Resources, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth and Sports involving an allocation of RM20 million.   

The first intake for the programme targeted those aged between 17 and 35 years, and started in July, involving a total of 618 students placed in ILP, community colleges and IKBN nationwide. They will undergo selected skills courses for two years and will be awarded the Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM), Community College Full Certificate or National Modular Certificate, according to the report.


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