DPM: School aid fund balance must be returned to Govt

(Bernama) –  Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has instructed schools to return any remaining balance from the RM100 school assistance fund to the Government if the money is not claimed by the parents.

Parents have a choice as to whether they want to accept the assistance or wish to contribute it to the school, he said.

However, they must claim the money first before they decide to make it a contribution, said Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister.

“It’s all right if parents say they don’t need the assistance.

“We have instructed the schools to return any balance to the ministry and it will be put back into Government funds, as it is Government’s money.

“It’s up to the parents. Our aim is to ease their financial burden at the beginning of the year.

“But if parents say they can afford it or have other resources or think they want to contribute, they have to claim the money first,” he said after the launch of Unesco Day here yesterday.

He hoped the distribution of the money could be completed within this month. If it is still not claimed by parents for any reason, the supervisor or headmaster can make a decision on the matter, he added.

“If the parents are far away or overseas, it’s not a problem as the money can be kept for them.”

Distribution of the RM100 school assistance to 5.3 million students from Year 1 to Form 5 commenced on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the financial aid during the tabling of the Budget 2012 last month.

Muhyiddin, who is also president of the Malaysian National Commission for Unesco, said the country had almost reached its target of “education for all” (EFA) earlier than the original target year of 2015.

Based on Unesco’s 2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report, he said Malaysia was ranked 65th out of 127 countries in the Middle Category Group compared to its previous placing of 69th out of 128 countries.

He said the Malaysian Unesco Day will be celebrated annually to allow people the opportunity to evaluate the nation’s ranking in Unesco and the organisation’s contribution to the country. – Bernama