Friday, March 5, 2021

No more race-based formula in allocating funds for schools

Education ministry says funds will be allocated based on the number of schools, not the type.

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Financial allocations for schools nationwide will no longer be race-based as Putrajaya introduces a new formula that focuses on public and other government-funded schools that need more attention.

The education ministry, in announcing the details of how it will spend the RM50.36 billion budget allocated to it for 2021, said there will be a more transparent approach in the allocation funds for schools, based on the number of schools and not on the type.

Its minister Radzi Jidin said a total of RM800 million will be allocated for the maintenance of schools, of which RM620 million will be for the 10,223 government and government-funded schools nationwide.

He said this means an average of RM60,648 for each school.

He added that the formula only applies to government schools and not those outside of the education ministry’s jurisdiction such as tahfiz and private religious schools.

“However, it does not mean we will pay that amount to each school. They must apply and we will study their applications,” Radzi said at a press conference today.

He said the 2021 budget did not specifically state the allocations, as the finance ministry has for the first time allowed the education ministry to decide how to distribute the allotments.

The new formula will ensure that the maintenance of all public schools is the responsibility of the government, he added.

Radzi said the new formula will also ensure more transparency and greater fairness in the distribution of funds.

He said all schools whether big or small need to be given equal financial attention.

Education Minister Radzi Jidin speaks at a press conference today in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur.

“For example, there will be some who question allocations for schools which do not have a large student population.

“That’s not the issue. If the toilet in a school is in disrepair, it does not matter whether it has only 200 students, it is they who will be affected,” he said.

However, he acknowledged that the RM620 million for the upkeep of schools would not be enough to cater to all applications.

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