Almost RM1.5 million was disbursed to 232 schools in Perak; 111 Chinese and 85 Tamil primary schools, 19 mission schools and 17 national-type secondary schools. The monies were the state’s allocation to these schools to subsidise their utility bills and miscellaneous expenses for the first half of 2013. The amount allotted per school is contingent upon its enrolment.
During a cheque-presentation ceremony held at SMJK Sam Tet Ipoh recently, Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir acknowledged that the financial aid might not be sufficient but would lessen the schools’ burden. The Perak State government has been funding these non-government-aided schools since 2010, and is the only state government in Malaysia to subsidise the expenses of schools. Since 2009, RM176 million had been spent on education through various programmes.
Besides the pursuit of academics, the state government also lauds students who excel in co-curricular activities. As such, the state will fully bear the expenses of 14-year-old piano prodigy, Joshua Ng Jin Ho, who has been invited to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York this May. The trip is estimated to cost RM18,000.
The SMJK Sam Tet Form 2 student, who scored straight As in his UPSR examination, has so far won eight championship titles from piano competitions around the world, including the Hong Kong Asia Pacific Piano Competition, the Australia-New Zealand Cultural Arts Music Competition and the Malaysian Youth Orchestra Foundation Music Competition.
Ng took the opportunity to perform two concert études by Franz Liszt, Waldesrauschen (Forest Murmurs) and Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes) to an applauding audience. He was presented with a certificate of appreciation from Zambry, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in music.
Addressing the media later, Zambry disclosed that the Perak state government, through Menteri Besar Incorporated is planning to build education hubs throughout the state. After Kampar and Tanjung Malim, the third area identified is Seri Iskandar. With more than a thousand acres of land, the hub, focusing on education at tertiary level, will take between 10 to 15 years to develop.