SHAH ALAM, 9 FEB: All kindergartens under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development as well as preschools under the Malaysian Ministry of Education in Selangor are welcome to apply for the Kindergarten Assistance Scheme (TUNAS).
Selangor Education Exco, Dr Halimah Ali explained that this scheme is open to all in an effort by the State Government to assist parents and kindergartens under the Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor (MES) programme.
She stressed that with an allocation of RM1,016,600 for the year 2012 and RM3 million for the year 2013, kindergartens need only to apply under the Majlis Permuafakatan Tadika Selangor (MPTS or Selangor Kindergarten Collaborative Council) to relieve assistance of RM50 per month.
“This scheme is for children aged five to six whose parents are from the lower income group, earning below RM1,500 per month and are sending their children to kindergartens under MPTS.
“This Tunas scheme is aimed at reducing the burden of parents who have to pay the cost of (kindergarten) fees. The fees for their children who are sent to kindergartens and preschools that are registered with MPTS, will be paid directly to their (school’s) account.
This explanation altogether denies claims by certain quarters that the State Government did not fulfill their promise to provide financial assistance to small children who are entering preschools and kindergartens.
Since its introduction on 1 July 2012, a total of 217 kindergarten and preschool applications have been accepted by the end of year 2012. Meanwhile there are 339 applications for the year 2013, as of 31 January 2013.
A total of 1,903 parents have also submitted applications for the Tunas Scheme for the year 2012, while 1,800 applicants have been recorded as of 31 January 2013.
According to Halimah, for the year 2013, MPTS has a target of 5,000 parent’s applications for the Tunas Scheme until the end of December.
So far, the Klang district recorded the highest amount of applications with 528 applications for the year 2012 and 409 as of 31 January 2013.
Hulu Selangor district recorded the lowest number of applications for the year 2012 with only 22 applications while the Sepang district has only 8 applicants so far.
In terms of the total cost, RM214,175 have already been paid for the year 2012 while for January 2013, RM90,000 have already been paid out.
Overall, the Malay community has the highest amount, 89 percent, of applications followed by 9 percent from the Chinese community and 2 percent from the Indian community.
She added that the Selangor Government will also organise a Selangor Kindergarten Day 2013 on February 24 which will be held at the Youth and Culture Complex in Section 7, Shah Alam, starting at 8am till 1pm.
This celebration will hopefully bring parents, teachers and kindergarten management together, as well as 2,013 kindergarten children who will make the programme a success.