The move to cut PTPTN funding by 5 percent for public institutions of higher learning and 15 percent for private institurions is an extremely unfortunate move at a time when the finances of ordinary Malaysians are being increasingly squeezed.
This is a sign that the Federal Government’s education funding policies have been an abject failure. Horrendous wastage and leakages are tolerated while access to education withers away.æ
Education, at the tertiary level, is not a privilege nor is it a luxury. It is increasingly a public good: Malaysians who are exposed to accessible and good-quality education make for responsible citizens and productive workers who can contribute to value-add.
As such, our goal should be to help widen access to institutions of higher learning, rather than complicating matters or even crushing the dreams of young Malaysians aspiring to further their educations. There needs to be a wholesale revamp in the private sector as well where many substandard colleges survive purely on PTPTN funding while fail to provide quality education and burden our youth with higher debts.