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LUMUT, Oct 20 — The 20,000 students from private Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges can continue with their studies after the Human Resources Ministry obtained RM140 million allocation from the Finance Ministry.
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the funding was received recently and so far RM105 million had been disbursed by the ministry to the 400 private TVET colleges in the country.
“The delay in payments by Skills Development Fund Corp (PTPK) was funding in the corporation was running low,” he said.
Speaking to reporters here today after opening Dr VVV Menon community hall at Sri Ramar Temple in the Lumut Naval Base here, the Ipoh Barat MP explained that when PTPK was set up, it had a RM1 billion rotating fund.
“Annually, the government provides a grant of up to RM200 million to provide loans for the recipients mostly from the B40 (bottom 40th percentile) families,” he said.
“However, after graduating, they failed to repay their loans which affected the corporation’s operation,” he added.
He said the ministry was trying to get the defaulters, numbering up to a staggering 130,000, to pay up.
“The corporation has set up a call centre manned by 200 people to call the defaulters and remind them to pay up their loans,” he added, noting that he was also contemplating asking Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed to write a letter to the defaulters and ask them to perform their civic duty.
“If the defaulters do not pay, it will be difficult for the corporation to continue giving loans to incoming trainees,” he said.
On October 9, Malay Mail reported that more than 20,000 students from private Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges may be forced to discontinue their studies due to inadequate allocations to the Skills Development Fund Corp (PTPK).
The Federation of JPK Accredited Centres (FeMAC) said these students are largely from the bottom 40th percentile (B40) and have no other means to pay for their courses without the PTPK loans.
FeMAC also complained that over the last four years, the Human Resources Ministry has been consistently reducing the allocation of funds for PTPK with the total amount of funds being cut being reduced by a staggering 60 per cent.
Private TVET centres can train between 40,000 and 60,000 students annually.