KUALA LUMPUR: The National Higher Education Corporation (PTPTN), which was formed two decades ago to provide education loans, has played a crucial role in enabling Malaysian students to pursue their studies at public varsities, polytechnics and private institutions.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said PTPTN, under the initiative of the Education Department, was spearheaded by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his tenure as education minister.
He said it had opened up a wealth of education opportunities for students with financial constraints.
“More than 2.8 million Malaysians have benefited from PTPTN.
Yesterday, Dr Ahmad Zahid officiated PTPTN’s 20th anniversary at Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara.
Dr Ahmad Zahid added that the creation of PTPTN was relevant to society as it lessened the burden of parents.
He said PTPTN was a surefire success mechanism that must be continued.
“We must ensure that students repay the loan to safeguard the continuity of the funds.
So far, PTPTN has managed to collect 81% of outstanding loans,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also said defaulters must be more socially responsible and settle pending loans.
“In 2015, the amount repaid was RM1.45bil. This amount increased to RM3.43bil in 2016 and RM3.98bil last year.
“Our youth are realising the importance of the PTPTN loan and want to see others benefit from it,” he added.
However, he said, there was a small number of graduates who had yet to repay their loans and PTPTN did not know the reason why.
Dr Ahmad Zahid added that PTPTN had the full support of the Government, namely the Higher Education Ministry.
He added that the Government had announced several incentives for those who had taken loans.
“The incentives include a 20% discount upon full settlement of the loan and a 10% discount for settling half the amount tied together with scheduled salary deductions.
“Other than this, poor students pursuing courses that have valuable market potential are eligible for an increase in loans,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also launched Job Matching PTPTN, a collaborative initiative between PTPTN and Prestariang Bhd (Prestariang) to directly benefit PTPTN borrowers seeking jobs.
“Job Matching will give immediate job opportunities to PTPTN graduates that will match their talents to the employment market. This will help increase the employment rate and boost the country’s economy,” he said.
Prestariang president and group chief executive officer Dr Abu Hasan Ismail said the firm was pleased to work with PTPTN on the project, adding that the company would host Job Matching under its end-to-end digital engagement platform EduCloud.
At the end of his speech, Dr Ahmad Zahid announced a one-month bonus for PTPTN staff to reward them for their efforts.
Among those present at the event were Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah.