KUALA LUMPUR: If it was up to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), the best time to start saving for a child’s tertiary education is right after the umbilical cord is cut.
To push this message across, a team from PTPTN visited new parents at Hospital Pusrawi here yesterday.
PTPTN deputy chief executive officer for policy and operations Mastura Mohd Khalid said parents were encouraged to open an SSPN-i Plus account from the moment a child is “day-old” so that they would not have to take on the extra burden of funding their child’s tertiary studies.
This was the first time the corporation carried out this “corporate social responsibility” in hospitals, she said after presenting goodies to selected babies there.
The baby girl of Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council assistant officer Khairul Anuar Mohd Saruwan and his wife Nor Dalina Noordin was one of the nine infants selected.
The girl, who has yet to be named, received RM100 in the form of a deposit into her account, as well as a hamper containing a coin box, baby care items and brochures on savings.
Her parents were given a choice of opening either a SSPN-i or SSPN-i Plus account, without needing to step out of the maternity ward.
Khairul said he was thankful that PTPTN made it so easy for them to open the account.
“Actually, I was also planing to open an account for my four-year-old son.
“I was just waiting for our child to be born before signing them up at the same time,” he said.
Mastura said since its launch in 2004, 2.7 million SSPN-i and SSPN-i Plus accounts have been opened as of last December.
PTPTN is aiming for another 100,000 SSPN-i Plus accounts to be opened this year.
On PTPTN borrowers who died before settling their loans, Mastura said that the burden would not be passed on to their next of kin as the outstanding amount would be covered under its Takaful group coverage plan.
This is on top of the RM1,500 handed to the next of kin for funeral expenses.
Last month, The Star reported that PTPTN senior general manager Abdul Ghaffar Yusop as saying that RM107.64mil from 6,682 borrowers were covered by Takaful, while 6,073 beneficiaries have claimed RM7.52mil in funeral expenses as of the end of December.