Saving up for higher education


  • Education
  • Sunday, 24 Sep 2017

(From left) Brigadier General Abdul Manaf, Mastura, Ranizam, Mohd Ashik, Muhammad Salahuddin and Nurmahayu at the ceremony.

AS a parent, all Mohd Ashik Abdullah wants is financial security so he can give the best education to his child.

With this foresight, the 42-year-old pilot started saving for his son’s educational needs through the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN-i) last May.

This turned out to be very rewarding for Mohd Ashik who won RM10,000 in the July 2017 monthly draw of the Cabutan Wow! 20 Tahun PTPTN.

The ceremony was held at SK TUDM Subang. Also present were the school’s headmistress Ranizam Yusoff, its Parent-Teacher Association chairman Brigadier General Datuk Abdul Manaf Md Zaid, PTPTN deputy chief executive officer (Policy and Operations) Mastura Mohd Khalid, and Mohd Ashik’s wife Nurmahayu Idrus and his son Muhammad Salahuddin Eswandi.

The contest has a monthly draw which is only for those who open or have an active SSPN-i or SSPN-i Plus account for their Year One children.

It also has a special cash prize draw for SSPN-i Plus depositors worth RM100,000.

More than 2,500 prizes worth RM500,000 are up for grabs.

“I am surprised and grateful! I started saving by depositing RM1,000 monthly.

“What prompted me to open a savings account for my son was the realisation of the importance of education.

“Also, the cost of education is increasing each year. If we don’t start saving early on, it will become a burden later for parents,” he said.

Mohd Ashik was also attracted to the incentives provided by the scheme’ such as Takaful coverage and income tax relief.

“Parents must think ahead for the sake of their children’s future,” he added.

Mastura said by having such contests, the public will be encouraged to save.

“We hope they will choose to save with PTPTN for their children’s future educational needs,” she said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced last October that all Year One pupils (in 2017) in national schools will be entitled to receive a RM50 grant if they have an SSPN-i or SSPN-i Plus account with the PTPTN.

A total of RM25mil has been set aside. “However, as of July 31 this year, only 5% of Year One pupils have taken the grant.

“We hope with a few months left in the year, parents will take the opportunity to grab the grant,” Mastura added.

Various initiatives are conducted by the corporation to raise awareness among the public of its efforts.

PTPTN was established as the Government’s commitment in providing access to higher education for all Malaysians.

“PTPTN has always been known as an agency that only gives out loans, but we want people to know that in addition to loans, we also have education saving schemes.

“We are constantly working towards transforming it as an education fund,” Mastura said.

In 2004, PTPTN launched SSPN-i and in 2015, a more comprehensive version of it was launched, known as SSPN-i Plus.

Mastura wants the public to change their mindset when it comes to savings.

Having a financial plan for a child’s higher education is a way of translating a parent’s dream of sending their children to university into reality, she said.

“Encouraging the savings habit among Malaysians can be difficult, but various incentives have been introduced to encourage people to open up a savings account.

“Among them are a savings guaranteed by the Government, competitive dividends, Takaful benefits and income tax relief,” she added.

Mastura said collectively, the benefits would make up at least 28% of a person’s savings account.

As of July 31, more than three million accounts have been opened with PTPTN, with a deposit of more than RM2.89bil.

She reiterates that encouraging the habit of saving is a continuous process.

“We don’t want students to be in debt as soon as they graduate from university.”

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