Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the Penang Pakatan Rakyat State Government will increase the annual allocation of partially assisted schools to the Chinese primary (SRJK (C) ), Chinese secondary (SMJK (C)) and Missionary schools from RM5.8 million in 2010 to RM6.5 million in 2011.
Since coming to power in March 2008, the Penang Pakatan Rakyat State Government has started the “institutional allocation” to Private schools, Chinese primary schools, Chinese Secondary schools, Missionary schools and Religious Schools (Sekolah Agama Rakyat).
Penang currently has a total of 124 schools under the category of Chinese Primary, Chinese Secondary and Missionary Schools. Since not all schools in these categories have submitted their applications, the number of schools receiving allocations will vary from year to year.
Under the institutional allocation system, the Penang Pakatan Rakyat State Government has given out RM 4.5 million to 109 schools under this category in year 2009. Whilst in year 2010, the state has increased the budget from RM 4.5 million in 2009 to RM 5.8 million which has benefited 120 schools who applied. 2011 will see an increase of RM700,000 to RM 6.5 million.
To ensure the safety of the students and allow urgent repairs work to be carried out in the schools as well as fund infrastructure works under this category, the state has decided to increase the budget allocation to RM 6.5 million this year as a supplement to the budget given by Federal Government. The Penang State Government via its CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) good governance policy has been able to save money from its prudent management of administration expenses to assist those partially-assisted schools.
The application period for submission of allocation expired on 18 Jan 2011 where a total of 85 Chinese Primary Schools, 10 Chinese Secondary Schools and 20 Missionary Schools have submitted their applications for this year. After the school inspection site visit by local Assemblymen / Members of Parliament and they will recommend to the Penang State Chinese and Missionary Schools Affairs Coordinating Committee chairman Chong Eng and comprising of representatives members from these schools. The committee will then meet with the the committee members to decide on the amount of allocation to be given to each schools with the final approval made by the Chief Minister.
Currently, the Local Assemblymen/ Members of Parliament have started the school inspection site visits respectively, and the committee is expected to announce the amount of allocation to each schools in March 2011.
For the past two years, the Penang Pakatan Rakyat State Government has walked the talk, delivered its promise to the schools, and to allow the school to have full control of the allocation. All the allocations approved were paid to the school board of directors’ account directly and not through middle-men. In contrast to the Penang Pakatan Rakyat State Government’s annual allocation, the previous BN State Government had given only limited allocations only during general elections or by-elections. By institutionalising allocations to schools on a yearly basis, the PR Penang state government hopes to democratise education instead of the previous practice of politicising it by only giving it during elections.