SECOND FOCUS: STRENGTHENING EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025
58. Since independence, the Government has promoted education as the main agenda of the nation.
The Government is aware that investment in education and training is a pre-requisite for prosperity of the country and the well-being of the rakyat.
In this respect, large allocations have been provided annually.
In 2013, the allocation for education and training accounts for 21% of the total budget.
However, the outcomes are not commensurate with the investment made.
Thus, on 11 September 2012, the Ministry of Education launched the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025 Preliminary Report to ensure the national education system is capable of optimising the potential of each Malaysian child.
59. In the 2013 Budget, a sum of RM38.7 billion is allocated to the Ministry of Education (MOE) for operating and development expenditure.
60. Measures to increase the competency and quality of teachers are critical to support the success of the education system.
Thus, in addition to the allocation of RM38.7 billion to MOE, the Government will allocate another RM500 million to enhance teaching skills in core subjects such as Bahasa Malaysia, English, Science and Mathematics through the Higher Order Thinking Skills approach.
The allocation includes the establishment of an Education Delivery Unit to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the transformation plan.
61. In the 2012 Budget, the Government allocated RM1 billion under the Special Fund for the Building, Improvement and Maintenance of Schools, particularly to cater for immediate needs to refurbish school buildings, maintenance, purchase of school equipment and construction of additional blocks.
I am pleased to announce an additional RM1 billion to this Special Fund.
Of this amount, RM400 million will be channelled to national schools; RM100 million to national-type Chinese schools; RM100 million to national-type Tamil schools; RM100 million to mission schools; RM100 million to Government-assisted religious schools; RM100 million to boarding schools; and RM100 million to Maktab Rendah Sains MARA.
Strengthening the Role of Pre-Schools
62. In early childhood education, the quality of pre-school education is critical to equip children with basic education.
For this, RM1.2 billion will be allocated for pre-school education to Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat, MOE, PERMATA and Department of National Unity and Integration.
In addition, RM380 million will be allocated to the MOE for placement of kindergarten teachers.
63. High quality pre-school and childcare services are imperative to ensure children receive proper care while nurturing foster positive mental development.
For this the Government proposes the following incentives:
First: Launching grant of RM10,000 to assist operators of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) private centres in opening new high quality pre-schools. It is estimated that 1,000 new private ECCE centres will benefit from this initiative;
Second: A double deduction on the allowance or subsidies provided to the employees and expenses for the maintenance of childcare centres be given to the employers;
Third: Income tax exemption for 5 years and industrial building allowance at the rate of 10% a year be given to operators of pre-school and private childcare centres; and
Fourth: Income tax exemption for 5 years and industrial building allowance at the rate of 10% a year be given to operators of private pre-schools.
64. Currently, there are many disabled children from low-income families who do not receive early education due to lack of pre-schools for disabled children (TASKA OKU).
For this, the Government will implement a pilot project for TASKA OKU in six categories of disabled children, namely down syndrome, autism, blind or partially sighted, hearing and speaking disabilities, physical disability and learning difficulties.
Skills and Training
65. Moving on to the issue of knowledgeable, creative and innovative human capital, training programmes will be developed to hone new skills in line with future needs of industry in a high-income and developed economy.
For this purpose, RM3.7 billion will be allocated in 2013 to train students in technical and vocational fields.
66. Every year about 180,000 students graduate with diplomas and degrees from institutions of higher learning.
To assist unemployed graduates, the Government will launch the Graduate Employability Blueprint by end-2012.
The Blueprint will focus on strengthening the employability of graduates.
In this regard, the Government will establish the Graduate Employability Taskforce with an allocation of RM200 million.
67. The Government has implemented the 1Malaysia Training Scheme Programme, also known as SL1M, to increase employability of graduates through soft skills training and on-the-job-training in private companies through double deduction on expenses incurred by the companies.
This incentive is effective from 1 June 2012 until 31 December 2016.
68. The Government will allocate RM440 million to the Skills Development Fund Corporation (PTPK), to provide loans for trainees to undergo skills training.
This measure will benefit nearly 40,000 trainees undertaking the Malaysia Skill Certificate Level One to Five.
The Government will allocate RM366 million to upgrade as well as purchase equipment for Industrial Training Institutes and National Youth Vocational Institutes (IKBN).
69. In line with the objective to transform the country’s key industries towards high technology, innovation and high income, various skills training programmes will be implemented.
Towards this, focus will be given to create a professional and talented workforce in selected industries, including oil and gas, shipping, ICT, creative and biotechnology.
In 2013, about 5,000 trainees are expected to enrol in these programmes.
Additionally, PETRONAS will utilise IKBN in Pengerang, Johor to train 300 youths for the oil and gas sector by end of 2012 to meet the needs of the RAPID project.
70. The Government is aware of the plight of poor Malaysian Indian students in the estates who do not achieve good results in examination and are unable to find jobs.
In line with this, the Government will allocate RM50 million to train 3,200 Malaysian Indian students in the estates to equip them with skills in line with market demand.
The training will be conducted by Industrial Training Institutes and colleges under the Dual National Training Scheme.
71. In ensuring that private sector workers remain healthy and productive to contribute to their companies and economic development, the issue of health must be given priority.
In this regard, SOCSO will allocate RM200 million to enable its 1.4 million members to undertake free health screening in Government hospitals or SOCSO’s panel clinics.
The health screening is for all workers aged between 40 and 55 years to detect non-communicable diseases.