Govt gives devices for free

Helping the young: Ismail Sabri poses for a group photo with students during the launch of PerantiSiswa initiative in UITM. — ART CHEN/The Star

SHAH ALAM: Devices under the PerantiSiswa initiative will be given out to B40 students for free and they will not need to return them upon graduating, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

In announcing this, the Prime Minister said the decision was made following an engagement session between the Communications and Multimedia Minister and Students Representative Councils last month.

“Initially, recipients were required to return the Samsung Galaxy Tabs received under the initiative after completing their studies.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that the government has agreed to give the devices to all PerantiSiswa recipients for free.

“I hope the students will work harder with this initiative,” he said in his speech at the launch of the initiative at Dewan Agung Tuanku Canselor UiTM here yesterday.

Earlier, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said all recipients would be given the latest Samsung Galaxy tablets along with original keyboards and stylus.

“We engaged with the students during the process of selecting the devices.

“The procurement of the devices was also made using an open tender method,” he added.

The rollout will be done in two phases involving collaborations between the relevant ministries and agencies, he said.

Yesterday, the first batch of 519 students under the Higher Education Ministry in public and private universities, community colleges, and polytechnics; and arts institutions under Tourism and Culture Ministry’s Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Negara, received their devices.

The initiative has also been expanded to pre-university institutions under the Education Ministry covering matriculation programmes, Form Six, vocational colleges and Teacher’s Education Institutions.

PerantiSiswa is expected to benefit over 400,000 students from B40 families.

A total of RM450mil had been allocated in Budget 2021 under the PerantiSiswa Keluarga Malaysia programme to provide higher education students from the B40 group with tablets.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the government has also agreed to extend the registration period for telco prepaid packages for youths called Pakej Remaja Keluarga Malaysia.

The Prime Minister said the initiative would allow students and youths to have more affordable access to the Internet.

“The initiative, launched in October last year and which also includes post-graduate students, was slated to end next month.

“We hope with the extension of the registration, more students will sign up for the initiative offered by telcos,” he said.

Ismail Sabri also said to ensure the welfare of university students amid the rising cost of goods, the government would expand the Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) sales programme to tertiary education campuses nationwide.

“We hope this initiative can help to reduce the burden faced by the students,” he said.

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