ISKANDAR PUTERI: The majority of parents are now saving for their children’s education as seen in the increase in withdrawals from the National Education Saving Scheme (SSPN) accounts over the past three years.
National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said RM53.3mil was withdrawn in 2014 and the figure went up to RM90.9mil and RM141.2mil in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The number of PTPTN loan borrowers has also decreased significantly over the years, he said at the launch of the Johor-state level SSPN-i Plus scheme at Ekspo Johor Berkemajuan 2017 here.
Shamsul said there were 207,477 students from tertiary institutions who had borrowed money from PTPTN in 2014 but the numbers declined to 195,372 students in 2015 and 177,372 in 2016.
He said that up to August this year, 124,695 SSPN-i Plus accounts had been opened, with an accumulated deposit of RM54mil and Takaful protection benefit amounting to RM5.75bil.
“In Johor alone, 3,386 SSPN-i Plus accounts have been registered with an accumulated deposit of RM1.4mil and Takaful protection benefit totalling RM166.7mil,” he added.
SSPN-i Plus, which is a product launched by PTPTN and Hong Leong MSIG Takaful in June 2015, differs from the other schemes as it also provides a Takaful protection which adheres to syariah guidelines.
Shamsul assured that the dividend given out through the scheme was highest of its kind in the country, with a four percent dividend announced last year.
He also encouraged parents with children in Year One to take advantage of the Matching Grant Special Incentive introduced by the Government to cultivate the habit of saving from a young age.
“Under the incentive, pupils would only need to register for an SSPN account with a deposit of RM50 and the Government will match the amount by adding another RM50 into the account,” he said.
In line with this, state health, environment,education and information committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat announced that all Year One pupils enrolling at public schools in Johor next year will have to register for an SSPN account.
“I will discuss with the Education Department to ensure all Year One pupils benefit from the incentive starting from next year,” he said.