PETALING JAYA, Nov 30 — Tertiary education has become somewhat of a privilege to many in our country with increased course fees annually.
This leaves many students from low-income or underprivileged families out on their chance to further their education as they struggle to pay the costly fees or getting approved bank loans.
Luckily for those in need, corporations like the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) are there to help as it actively provides loans to these students to set them on the path to fulfil their dreams.
Muhammad Sufi Othman is one of those fortunate students as PTPTN have presented him, and 11,709 other students with a RM 1,500 prepayment during its Loan Advance Ceremony for the December 2019 Polytechnic Entry Session on Saturday at Menara PTPTN in Kuala Lumpur.
“I feel really happy to have been given this loan as it will really go a long way in helping me continue my studies,” said Muhammad.
“Having this prepayment before I begin studying allows me to pay for my registration fees, stationery, books and whatever else I may need.”
Muhammad, who is set to pursue a diploma in Information Technology at Polytechnic Sultan Idris Shah in Sabak Bernam, said he was grateful to PTPTN for its loan system and noted how easy it was to apply for the student loan.
“The process to get the loan was very easy as all I had to do was go to the Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) and buy a pin number, before proceeding to register for the loan online,” said Muhammad.
“I thank God that I was selected and hopefully I can do well in college to repay PTPTN for what they have done for me.”
At the ceremony, a total of 177 student recipients from the Titiwangsa, Wangsa Maju and Bandar Tun Razak parliamentary districts were in attendance as Minister of Rural Development Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun and PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan presented them with the prepayment loans.
During the ceremony, Rina mentioned that the students of this generation are very blessed to have PTPTN and support from the government as back in her day, not many people got the opportunity or funding to have a higher education.
“Before PTPTN was established, in the early and mid-90s, only around 27,000 students had the opportunity to pursue higher education,” said Rina.
“Your parents would have to sell their house or land just to get a bank loan, and the whole village would celebrate when someone got the chance to attend an institute of higher education,
“But now, with PTPTN, they don’t have to go to those extremes to get loans and many more students have the chance to chase their dreams and pursue a higher level of education.”
She added that the government is also supportive of helping out underprivileged students get higher education as the Ministry of Education received RM64.1 billion funding as part of the Budget 2020 in October.
PTPTN was established in 1997 and has helped countless students further their education to a tertiary level.
There are some 180,000 new applications each year — and a total of 3.2 million students as of October 31 this year have benefited.
Its chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan stressed that despite the high number of applicants each year, he is eager to change the mindset of Malaysians towards PTPTN so that they could help more students realise their ambitions.
He explained that over the course of 22 years, PTPTN has given out RM 58.1 billion in loans and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon as they hope to reach more students in the country with added benefits and incentives to their loans.
“We want Malaysians to plan their savings for their child’s education from an early age, especially with our National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN),” said Wan Saiful.
“With education costs increasing year by year, parents need to start saving, and by opening an SSPN account, they can not only save for their kids but also for themselves.”
As part of the incentives to having an SSPN account, Malaysians are entitled to an income tax relief deduction up to RM 8,000 a year based on their current year’s net savings and even free takaful coverage on depositors with RM 1,000 savings or more.
Families with a joint monthly income of RM 4,000 or less are also eligible for the “Geran Sepadan” (matching grant) which offers a “ringgit to ringgit” loan amount up to RM10,000 — meaning that if you save up to RM10,000 in your SSPN account, when it matures you get another RM10,000 from PTPTN.
“With all these benefits, families should not let this kind of opportunity go, so I call on everyone to use these services to help make your children’s lives better with the chance to further their education,” said Wan Saiful.
For more information on PTPTN’s range of loans and services click here.