Friday, 8 February 2013

SPP1M scheme good for those in private institutions

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the SPP1M scheme would be especially good for those studying in private institutions.

“Even if they have Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans, these (loans) are capped to a certain amount. So a top-up fund would be very helpful for students to pay for the rest of their course or other expenses.

“It would also reduce the burden for those studying in institutions overseas,” he said.

Sammie Goh, whose son is studying in Australia while his daughter is studying locally, said the scheme appeared to be very flexible.

“It really helps the rakyat and with the Government's support, I hope it will be easier to apply for the loans,” he said.

However, Amira Ali, who has four children, said she was not keen on it as she and her husband already had a house and car loan to pay for.

“Some of us are still paying for our student loans. What I would like to see is proper budgeting and management of funds to ensure it focuses on education,” she said.

Amira said the Government should find a way to ensure free or affordable education for students.

Students had a mixed reaction to the scheme but all agreed that the interest rate was too high.

Graduate student Siti Ayesha Azlan, 27, said the scheme was a good initiative to help students fund their tertiary studies.

“I would like to know if the selected courses for the RM100,000 loans will only be limited to science and technology fields,” she said.

IACT College student Putra Muhamad Ashraf said that student debt was a serious issue being faced by his generation.

“If some students are having a hard time paying back their PTPTN loans, I don't know if a bank loan is going to make the situation any better.

“The amount of debt a student faces will affect their mindset when they graduate; they expect a higher pay in order to pay off debts but employers will say they are demanding too much.

“I think the PTPTN loan is still all right because you can still make a minimum payment of RM50 a month. But will this new loan allow such arrangements?” asked the 24-year-old.


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