Penang mulls proper annual financial aid for national schools

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press at Komtar in George Town June 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to the press at Komtar in George Town June 17, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 17 — Despite limited finances, the Penang government is considering an annual fund to assist primary and secondary national schools statewide.

Currently, the practice is on an ad hoc basis.

“Our funding is limited as each year we are already funding RM12 million to mission schools, religious schools and vernacular schools in the state so adding this RM3 million, it will be RM15 million,” Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow told a news conference here today.

This year, the Penang government allocated RM3 million to primary and secondary national schools in the state for maintenance.

He said education is under the federal government but the state government had been setting aside some money to show its appreciation to schools as places to develop and nurture talent.

“It is a gesture of appreciation for the schools as the role of the school in educating the future generation is important to us, especially to create talented human resource for the future,” he said.

Earlier, in his speech, Chow said the state had allocated RM1.75 million to Islamic religious schools, RM8.5 million to mission and Chinese vernacular schools and RM1.75 million to Tamil vernacular schools each year for the past 11 years.

Last year, in September, the state exco approved an allocation of RM3 million for national schools in the state.

The sum was distributed to 170 schools with each school receiving a maximum of RM20,000 each.

Chow said the fund was for the maintenance and upkeep of the schools.

“The state allocates the fund but the school will have to apply for the funding through the state education department,” he said.

The allocation will be given to schools based on their respective applications for funding to cover upgrading, maintenance or repair costs of the schools.

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