2014 Budget: Education sector gets biggest allocation

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KUALA LUMPUR: The education sector continues to receive the biggest allocation with RM54.6 billion or 21 per cent provided in the 2014 Budget in an effort to enhance education excellence.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the allocation proved the government's commitment in accelerating academic achievement, competencies and skills.

"Education is important. Since ancient times, a civilisation will not last if not imbued with knowledge and wisdom," he said when presenting the 2014 Budget at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Najib said the government would ensure that the implementation of the National Education Blueprint achieve the objective of placing Malaysia in the top one third category of the world's best education within a span of 15 years.

The prime minister said the government would continue to uphold excellence in education from preschool to the secondary level through several programmes.

He said RM530 million would be allocated to run preschool programmes and set up 93 preschools in national-type primary schools as the government recognised that early education was critical for physical and mental development.

Najib said RM209 million would be provided to enhance the teaching profession with emphasis on teaching, improving teaching methods and proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia and English.

He said RM168 million would be spent to expand internet access, especially in rural areas while RM831 would be allocated to build 33 new schools and upgrading existing ones, including dilapidated schools.

To follow up on the government's commitment, he said the Special Fund for Building, Upgrading and Maintenance of Schools would get an additional RM450 million.

Of the amount, he said RM100 million would be channeled to national schools and RM50 million each to national-type Chinese schools, national-type Tamil schools, mission schools, government-assisted religious schools, boarding schools, Mara junior science colleges and people's religious schools (SAR).

The prime minister said the government would focus on strengthening public and private higher learning institutions towards producing quality graduates who meet the demands of the job market.

He said RM600 million would be provided in research grants to public institutions of higher learning in the quest to improve the status of research universities by increasing research and the number of articles for publications in international journals.

"The government will continue the MyBrain15 programme which finances tuition fees at post-graduate level, especially for executives in the private sector. For this, a sum of RM100 million will be allocated," he said.

Recognising the importance of establishing a world-class scholarly centre, he said the government would set up the Malaysian Citation Centre to increase publication of local scholarly works and assist researchers publish articles in renowned international journals. -- BERNAMA


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