GEORGE TOWN, Dec 7 — The Penang government has approved an allocation of RM3 million for primary and secondary national schools in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy said the state executive council approved the allocation on October 3.
“The state exco also approved the proposal to form a special committee for government aided schools,” he told a press conference in Komtar today.
Ramasamy, as the education committee chairman, will be heading the committee which will meet four times a year.
This is the first time the Penang government allocated funds for government aided national schools as previously the state only allocated funds for partially-funded schools such as religious schools, mission schools and vernacular schools.
“These primary and secondary national schools, although fully funded by the federal government, are in bad conditions so this allocation will help them to conduct repair works for basic infrastructure in the schools,” he said.
He said the federal government is now facing dire financial constraints so this is one way for the state to ease that by helping government aided schools in the state.
He said the allocation is open to about 200 national schools in the state.
“Priority will be given to the schools that critically need infrastructure repairs such as the roofs, classrooms and toilets,” he said.
He added that it would be a one-off payment for the schools but believed that the state will continue with the funding on an annual basis.
The schools will have to submit their applications for the fund and they will only be allocated a maximum of RM20,000 for each school.
“The committee will consider any special applications for sums above RM20,000 if the condition of the school is very critical,” he said.
The allocation, once approved, will be given to the schools as outright grant.
Ramasamy said they will start processing applications for the fund in January and hope to disburse the grant to the first batch of schools by March or April.