KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The Textbook Loan Scheme (SPBT) has achieved its objective in supplying textbooks to all Malaysian school students and reducing the financial burden of parents, the National Audit Department (NAD) said today.
According to the Auditor-General’s Report Series 2, 2018, it said based on the sample size of 17 schools, the SPBT program has the potential to achieve its objective as 87.5 per cent of students received textbooks on the first schooling day between 2017 and 2019.
The remaining 12.5 per cent only received textbooks after schooling sessions begun, with delays between three to 17 days.
“SPBT’s management however failed to reach optimum efficiency as there were still weaknesses in the aspect of contract administration, program execution and monitoring done by the ministry’s Resources and Education Technology Division (BSTP),” it said.
The Education Ministry’s BSTP is responsible for planning, coordinating and setting the publishing forms to produce textbooks from preschool until upper secondary. Its responsibility is also extended to the overall implementation of SPBT.
According to the report, a total of RM745.28 million was spent to procure textbooks between 2016 and 2018.
The report stated that BSTP obtained a total of RM716.88 million as managing allocation to execute the procurement of textbooks between 2016 and 2018.
“Up until December 2018, a total of RM600.93 million have been spent; RM219.64 million (2016), RM 204.80 million (2017) and RM176.49 million (2018).
“The audit is in the opinion that the textbook spending performance for the years 2016 to 2018 is good,” it added.
However another shortcoming the NAD highlighted was how the English Year 1 textbook published in 2016 with a cost of RM3.43 million was only utilised for a year in 2017 as the textbooks was not in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages at publishing time.
“The audit recommends the Education Ministry to ensure all textbook planning needs to be carefully executed to ensure every published book is optimally used,” it said.