KUALA LUMPUR: At least 100,000 pupils from poor Felcra settlements will be given free tuition classes.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin said the allocation for the tuition classes in Mathematics, Science, English and Bahasa Malaysia would come from the Felcra Foundation's RM9mil scholarship allocation.
He said 500 Felcra settlers’ children pursuing tertiary education took up scholarships worth less than RM1mil in the past five years.
“Therefore, the excess money will be channelled toward educating children of poor Felcra settlers as part of the agency’s efforts to help improve their standard of living,” he said after attending his first briefing with Felcra Berhad officials at Wisma Felcra in Taman Setapak Jaya here yesterday.
“We will provide tuition classes for children of settlers whose monthly per capita income is RM530 and also consider those who earn RM1,000 but have many children,” he added.
He said the Education Ministry only provided tuition classes for children whose parents earn a monthly income of RM530 and below.
Asked why few Felcra settlers’ children had taken up the foundation’s scholarship offer to pursue higher education, Abdul Aziz said:
“Many of them were afraid of being bonded to Felcra.”
Abdul Aziz said Felcra was also looking at ways to increase the settlers’ income and eliminate dependency on foreign workers.
To date, 85,000 Felcra settlers are involved in oil palm and rubber plantation and agriculture projects covering some 234,150ha.