KOTA BARU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today officiated two back-to-back groundbreaking ceremonies for GiatMara Prima Melor and the Junior Science College (MRSM) Ulul Albab in Ketereh, here.
The construction of the two institutions is the government's effort to ensure quality education and a good education ecosystem for the youth.
Currently, there are 230 GiatMara nationwide which offers up to 683 courses.
Also present during the event were Ketereh Member of Parliament Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Mara chairman Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin, Mara director-general Datuk Azhar Abdul Manaf and deputy minister in Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.
Earlier, Awang Adek in his speech explained that previously, the government aimed to built GiatMara branches based on the number of Parliamentary constituencies in the country.
"However, we have 230 GiatMara now because the government wants to make the people's lives better," he said. The number of Parliamentary constituencies in Malaysia is 222.
"The construction of the GiatMara brings opportunities for the youth to develop their skills and this can also accommodate the increase of students as well as prepare Bumiputera students to excel in the fields of science, professional and critical fields," he said.
For the GiatMara Melor, Awang Adek said that the government allocated RM11.7 million for the construction on a 0.93 hectare land and offered five courses such as automotive as well as cooking and waitressing.
The project is expected to be completed by 2019.
On MRSM Ulul Albab, which is to create a generation that can memorise all 30 chapters (juzuk) of the Quran, the Ketereh branch will be its first in Kelantan and the fifth in the country.
"The RM120 million MRSM Ulul Albab is expected to be completed by 2020 and will be built on a 6.1 hectare land," he added.
Awang Adek also expressed gratitude for the prime minister, saying that the latter had contributed a lot to Mara by providing a budget of RM4.9 billion for the agency this year.
"Mara would like to thank the prime minister for providing the biggest budget for Mara which is RM2.5 billion for implementing educational programmes including sponsoring students locally and overseas.
"The government also provides an allocation of RM2.4 billion for Mara's expenses. No prime minister had ever provided this much allocation for Mara before," he said.