No money for independent Chinese schools, colleges, says Zafrul

(FMT) – The government will not be funding Chinese independent schools and colleges next year, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz has announced.

He confirmed this in a written reply on the annual budget, addressed to former deputy education minister and Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching.

Teo had asked on Dec 15 if the ministry would be allocating funds for Chinese independent secondary schools, as well as three non-profit private colleges that cater to Chinese students.

In the 2019 budget, Putrajaya allocated RM12 million to upgrade independent Chinese schools. It was part of a RM652 million fund for the same purpose in 10 other school types.

This, and a later RM6 million allocation to three private colleges, drew criticism from opposition parties which questioned the rationale and urgency in funding these institutions.

Tengku Zafrul said in his reply that the education ministry will make use of a new formula to determine fund distributions based on the type of school, the number of students and the school’s individual needs.

The 2021 budget will see RM50.4 billion allocated to the education ministry, while the higher education ministry will receive RM14.4 billion. A total of RM800 million will be allocated for the maintenance and upgrading of schools, not including private institutions.