EDUCATION once again received the largest share of the Budget pie, with a total allocation of RM23.9bil.
This comprises RM20.2bil or a quarter of operating expenditure next year as well as RM3.7bil for development expenditure.
The Government would lower the interest rate on National Higher Education Fund Corporation loans from 4% to 3% to ease the burden on graduates.
Moreover, the repayment schedule, which starts in the third year of employment, would be revised to enable borrowers to repay their loans at 5% of their monthly income for the first five years, and 10% for the balance of the repayment period.
The Government would also consider extending loans under the fund to students pursuing twinning courses abroad for the final year of their studies in recognised institutions and in courses that are in demand.
Forty-four primary, 43 secondary and three more technical schools, as well as 59 hostels, would open next year.
A sum of RM637mil has been set aside for the computerisation of schools while RM490mil would be used to pay for the infrastructure of public institutions of higher learning.
To enable poor students to continue their education, RM200mil has been set aside for the Poor Students Trust Fund, launched on July 23.
The National Accreditation Board would be inviting experts to assist in validation, moderation and accreditation of courses to enhance the quality of franchise programmes. To encourage experts to provide their services, fees or honorariums received would be exempted from income tax.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak would also be given significant allocations to expand their facilities.
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