Cahaya Ilmu to be extended to B40 students nationwide

by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic credit:

THE Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) plans to extend its “Cahaya Ilmu” programme, an education aid for students of underprivileged families, to all states in Malaysia over the next 12 months.

HRDF wants to address the learning and development challenges that affect families and children from the bottom 40% (B40) of local households that have an ave- rage monthly income of RM3,000.

HRDF chairman Datuk Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin (picture) said: “The Cahaya Ilmu programme is aimed to provide students from disadvantaged families with equal opportunity to quality education.

“Malaysia — as a developing country — must do more to ensure that our children not only have access to education, but also benefit from quality education.

“Last year, HRDF had approved almost RM700 million in financial assistance to support 1.04 million training places. We are proud of this achievement and we wish to share our good work with all Malaysians,” she added.

The fund expects to extend this programme to all states in Malaysia over the next 12 months in support of the government’s aim of enhancing and supporting the education and lifelong learning of all Malaysians, as the country strives for developed nation status by 2030.

To kick-start, HRDF, together with the Ministry of HR have provided 941 students from 452 families in Ipoh with educational assistance via the programme.

It is part of the government’s effort to ease the education expenses of these students of underprivileged families, while encouraging the selected families to save and invest in their children’s future with the National Education Savings Scheme.

HR Minister M Kulasegaran said the government is determined to drive growth and equitable outcomes towards shared prosperity.

“We are truly pleased to collaborate with HRDF through the Cahaya Ilmu programme. I am hopeful that these contributions will help ease the burden of the families in regards to their children’s education, enhance their overall wellbeing and motivate them to excel in their studies,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“Most importantly, we want to inculcate a culture of saving for the future which will help them in the long run,” he added.

As an agency under the ministry, HRDF plays a pivotal role in nurturing Malaysian talent through skills’ development and capacity building programmes, aligned to its mandate given by the Malaysian government.

The fund had registered a growth of 18% last year from 2018. It has also increased the total certification programmes approved by 17.7% to 51,193 training places.

In its efforts to strengthen governance, transparency and enforcement, the fund increased its enforcement visits almost tenfold from 552 in 2018 to 5,466 last year. HRDF also expanded its coverage to 29,701 employers, serving 2.43 million employees.

Following the Budget 2020 allocation of RM30 million to HRDF for up-skilling Malaysian youth from lower income families through Technical and Vocational Education and Training, a further RM20 million on a matching basis was also allocated to HRDF to up-skill Malaysians in IR4.0 industry-recognised certifications.

The fund said it will soon announce the programmes under these budget allocations.

“This year, HRDF plans to approve 1.25 million training places, an increase of 20% from last year. Similarly, the fund aims to approve 60,000 training places for industry certification programmes in 2020,” it said in a statement earlier this year.