“The fees assistance scheme has really helped our family,” says Nurul Haida Said, mother of four in Kedah. Last year her second child attended Tadika Bunga Raya, and now her third child goes there. The pre-school picked her family as one of those needing assistance.
The assistance scheme runs for one year of pre-school education for each child (about 10 months of school time), she explains, so last year she received about RM120 each month for one child, and this year she is receiving the same amount for the child still in pre-school.
“I usually only have about RM200 left over from my salary to spend each month, so without this assistance, I would not be able to send my children to pre-school,” she continues. “The government should definitely continue with this scheme, as it helps those of us who would otherwise not be able to send out children to pre-school. It not only helps parents, but it also gives children the opportunity to excel.”
Nurul Haida hopes that her youngest child will also be able to benefit from this scheme once he is old enough to attend pre-school.
Siti Hajar Abdul Hamid, a mother of two, received the fee assistance scheme for her child in Tadika Permata Bestari, Perak, last year.
“The fee assistance scheme is offered to those families that are unable to afford school fees, which is how my child got picked,” she says. “My husband is now self-employed, and I am a religious teacher, so we don’t earn a lot each month. With this assistance, we are able to send our child to pre-school.”
As the award of the scheme is in accordance to how needy the family is, Siti Hajar received RM800 last year for her child’s schooling. Without the assistance, many families would find it difficult to send their children to pre-school, as most pre-school fees are beyond their means.
“Parents do want to send their children to pre-school, to prepare them for the future, but they are unable to,” she says. “Though this assistance scheme really helps, pre-schools also should not increase their fees without reason.”