Excerpt from Budget ’09 Speech
Improving Quality Of Education
74. The Ministry of Education is allocated a sum of RM31 billion for the benefit of 5.8 million students. Of this amount, RM1.6 billion is to finance the additional posts created following the opening of 26 primary and 41 secondary schools and the additional expenditure for maintenance, food assistance, scholarship, per capita grant and new equipment.
75. To meet the need for new schools and replace dilapidated schools, 110 primary and 181 secondary schools will be built. In addition, to ensure that existing schools are well maintained, an allocation of RM615 million is provided. This allocation for maintenance cannot be vired for other purposes.
76. To improve the quality of learning at institutions of higher learning, an allocation of RM14.1 billion is provided to the Ministry of Higher Education. Of this, RM8 billion is for Operating Expenditure for public institutions of higher learning, RM627 million for polytechnics and community colleges as well as RM37 million for the Malaysian Qualification Agency. A sum of RM4.4 billion represents Development Expenditure, including for the construction of clinical facilities and medical faculties as well as for research training
Being a student, for maybe at least another year, I’m always interested to see how much the government is spending on education. In building a sovereign nation, not only infrastructure need to be erected, one must think of who’s going to fill up the completed buildings and also to utilize them. Therefore, a substantial proportion of national budget should go to the effort of improving and producing human capital, with towering personalities.
Based on the commitment shown by the government not only in this newly staged budget, but also in previous years’ budgets, I am satisfied and delighted to see that education is still among the top priorities by our government. Needless to say, with RM31b allocation, we are now hoping that infrastructures in primary and secondary schools will be up to the standard, especially in rural areas. Though, i am also hoping for a major restructuring of schools canteen system in the lights of previous episodes of food poisoning due to bad and unhygienic food preparation by canteen operators. Good (read: safe and nutritious) food means good brain development, hence good education too.
On the other hand, RM14.1b is put aside for Higher Education, it is sufficient enough to prepare the nation towards being a knowledge-based-community. In order to transform our higher education institutions towards a sustainable future, a strong financial support will further accelerate the process. Moreover, with a very highly goal-directed Minister, YB Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin, higher education institutions in Malaysia have been given a major push and are propelling fast to break into 100th best university in the world.
Part of RM4.4b will be used to build new medical faculties and clinical facilities will further improve the quality of medical graduates from local universities. As we all know, local medical graduates are superb in their hands on skills and other practical stuffs. With more facilities and research opportunities, maybe one day Malaysia will be center for research and development in medical world. Based on the ‘kiasuness’ of majority of Malaysian medical students, i do think that it is something that is highly achievable.
To be honest, what more can we ask from the government when it comes to preparing the best and the most comfortable places for us to study and to equip ourselves with knowledge that will be useful for our future. We lament about AUKU, PTPN and all sort of political stuffs and forget about all the commitment government have shown towards making Malaysia a factory of knowledgeable and high quality human resources. Afterall, i reckon that the current government should be credited for putting education top of the list in process of building the nation.
Students will help Malaysia to achieve our goals and visions, because we are committed too!