Budget 2008 : Free schooling next year

Free schooling next year

SCHOOLING in Malaysia will be essentially free from next year.

This is because the annual school fees of RM4.50 for primary schools and RM9 for secondary schools will be abolished under Budget 2008.

Textbooks will also be provided free to all students through the Textbook Loan Scheme.

The examination fee for the Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) will also be abolished from next year.

Recognising the importance of co-curricular activities, students from families which earn a monthly income of RM1,000 or less will receive a free uniform for one uniformed activity they join.

The allowance for special education teachers will be raised from RM100 to RM250 per month while for graduate substitute teachers, the allowance will go up from RM85 to RM150 daily.

Chinese and Tamil language teachers in national schools will also be receiving an allowance of RM60 per hour for degree holders and RM50 per hour for diploma holders.

Retired teachers will be recruited to train teachers and also serve as substitute teachers.

Cluster schools will receive an allocation of RM500,000 each for co-curricular activities, training and educational equipment.

However, Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said this allocation would be given based on their performance.

Non-profit oriented government-assisted and private schools will be granted income tax exemption in recognition of their educational services. This exemption is expected to benefit Chinese and Tamil schools as well as religious schools.

In total, RM30bil has been allocated to the Education Ministry, which will also be used for the implementation of the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010.

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