Last Friday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz presented Malaysia’s Budget 2022 titled “Keluarga Malaysia, Makmur Sejahtera” in parliament. The budget next year is set at its highest rate yet with an allocation of RM332.1billion. Interestingly, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the education ministry holds the biggest chunk of the budget at RM52.6 billion while the health ministry comes second.
We know navigating the details of the budget can be a bit taxing so we took the liberty of zooming in on the budget for Education.
Here are 8 things you need to know about Budget 2022 as a student…
1. Early School Aid
Under Malaysia’s budget 2022, kids aged 3 to 5 years old are eligible to receive RM150 as their early school aid from the government. This aid will be allocated to some 3 million students in hopes to encourage a smooth start to the schooling term.
2. Allocation of 600,000 tablets for B40 university students
Tablets with mobile broadband data are expected to be allocated through the Pakej PerantiSiswa Keluarga Malaysia initiative. Students studying at institutions of higher learning (IPT) from B40 families are encouraged to register once the initiative goes live, some time next year.
3. RM150 eWallet credit for youths
Through the governments’ newest e-wallet centric programme called eStart, students aged 18-20 as well as those studying at institutions of higher learning are eligible to get RM150. A one-off transaction of RM150 will be deposited into the accounts of two million students’ e-wallet account on eStart. Keep a lookout for the programme next year!
4. PTPTN Discounts
PTPTN borrowers take note! There will be discounts available for payments from 1st November 2021 to 30th April 2022. Borrowers that pay the settlement in full during this period will benefit from a 15% discount.
While a 12% discount is given to those paying at least 50% of their balance in a single payment.
Additionally, a 10% discount is given to those making repayments through salary deduction or a scheduled direct debit.
5. The “Bantuan Keluarga” initiative
Perhaps you and your family can benefit financially from BKM’s programme. This initiative plans to give welfare aid of RM2.4 billion to 440,000 households in Malaysia.
Households making an income of less than RM2,500 with three children or more will be given RM2,000 in welfare aid. While families with up to two children, will receive RM1,500.
Single parents with a monthly income of not more than RM5,000 will receive RM500.
6. RM1 billion for school maintenance and repair work
The finance minister said that RM1 billion will go into maintaining schools and repair works to ensure a comfortable environment for students. No schools are left out from this budget, ranging from national schools to religious and vernacular schools. Meanwhile, dilapidated schools get an allocation of RM746 million. So let’s expect better studying conditions for all in the coming year.
7. Tax Reliefs for purchases of tablets, computers and headphones
The special tax relief of electronic purchases from this year is continued for 2022. Enjoy up to RM2,500 of the tax relief for purchases of mobile phones, computers and tablets till 31st December 2022. Maybe it’s time for a tech upgrade?
8. Unlimited rail and bus pass for RM50 per month
Public transport users around Klang Valley get to benefit from the RM115 million allocated for the Klang Valley bus and rail pass initiative. Now, an unlimited travel pass for public trains and busses can be purchased for RM50 per month.
The shift from in-person classes to online learning has been challenging for students across Malaysia during the lockdowns. Stable internet connection and a working computer are essentials to have for students to continue their education and it seems the government is taking steps in providing these necessities for our youth.
Will it result in a new generation of educated Malaysians with no child left behind? Only time will tell.