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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Minister: Paid version of MRSM will help the poor

Minister of Rural and Regional Development Ismail Sabri Yaacob has denied allegations that a proposal for a full paying version of Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) was to address a RM2 billion budget cut.
"The claim is absolutely false. I would like to stress that the education budget for Mara remains the same.
"With this (new paid) MRSM, it would increase the chances or access for (students from) higher-income group to further their education in MRSM boarding schools," said Ismail according to Sinar Harian today.
Ismail was responding to Parti Sosialis Malaysia's youth wing which plans to protest against the proposal tomorrow morning. PSM Youth said the proposal was akin to "commodifying" education.
Ismail said this allegation was untrue and that the proposal was meant to address overhwhelming demand for MRSM placement by high-income parents.
Regardless, Ismail said the proposal, which was mooted late last year, was still in the research stage and the public can provide feedback without resorting to demonstrating.

He said that present proposals had suggested that even if the proposal were to be implemented, it would only apply to newly established MRSM schools.
"By setting-up new paid MRSM schools, the places filled by students from higher-income families can be given to poor students from the rural
areas," he said.
There are currently 52 MRSM schools nationwide and offering secondary school education for free. The enrollment process is highly competitive and priority is given to applicants from lower-income background.- Mkini

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