Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Education loans not affected


Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has assured that the amount of loans allocated for the National Higher
Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) this year will not be reduced despite the global economic downturn.
He said PTPTN had disbursed loans of RM2.6 billion last year and was confident of maintaining the amount this year for the benefit of 200,000 students.
“There are some 260,000 places in public and private institutions of higher learning (IPT), polytechnics, community colleges and so on, excluding those taking diploma, certificate and first degree.
“We believe that the RM2.6 billion is adequate to fund the students. The amount does not include the scholarships,” he told reporters after launching the PTPTN Info Centre here yesterday.

Mohamed Khaled said from 11,956 in 1997, the number of students who took PTPTN loans had risen to 1.2 million with loans amounting RM26 billion.

As for Sabah, PTPTN had until Nov last year approved 78,086 applications by students involving an allocation of RM1.6 billion.

He said the Ministry was conducting a study to find the best method to collect loan payments, including a proposal for salary deduction.

“We are trying to find the best method to do this. But first it will have to be presented to the Cabinet for approval and only then it can be implemented,” he said.

Mohamed Khaled added the total loan owed to PTPTN amounted RM1.9 billion would be repaid in stages.

In his speech earlier, he urged Sabahans to fully utilise the Info Centre which is located in the Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) building here.

According to him, the setting up of the facility in East Malaysia was part of the PTPTN’s efforts to disseminate important information to the community.
This, he said, was in line with the seventh core of the National Higher Learning Strategic Plan which is to strengthen the Higher Education Ministry’s delivery system.

“As we are all aware, development of education is an important element in how a country progresses. Other than producing more skilled manpower, education is also important in increasing productivity by improving the performance of workers,” he said.