KUALA LUMPUR: Around 70% of the new Form One intake at Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) schools nationwide for 2019 will be from the B40 group, says Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun (pic).
The Rural and Regional Development Minister said this figure exceeded the 65% target initially set by her ministry.
This, she added, was in line with her ministry's objective to help children from lower-income households access greater educational opportunities.
"There have been claims that MRSM (places) were going to children of the elites, so that was why we put in the 65% target.
"We look at both their test results and their families' income.
"For those in the rural areas, especially Sabah and Sarawak, we feel that if given access to a more conducive learning environment, they will become better students. So that is why we give a bit of advantage to those from the rural areas," she told the press after launching the Segak ke Sekolah, Jom Potong Rambut programme at PPR Jelatek here Thursday (Dec 27).
Rina added that 20% of students for the coming Form One intake will be from M40 (middle 40) households while 10% will be from T20 (top 20) households.
A total of 7,760 places were offered to Form One students at MRSM schools nationwide for 2019, meaning about 5,400 students accepted were from B40 households.
The results for the applications to these schools were released out earlier than usual on Dec 21, she added, as the ministry wanted to give time for parents to prepare their children.