The Federal Territory PAS Youth has called for a revision of tertiary education fees in the country and abolishment of the 4 per cent interest imposed by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) in view of recent reports that some students were being forced to skip meals to cope with rising costs of living.
“Fees in public and private institutions of higher learning should be streamlined with the parents’ income level, especially those in the lower income group,” its Information Chief Mohamad Suhaimi Abdul Aziz said in a statement today.
Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah recently revealed that some students in universities and colleges have been literally tightening their belt due to financial difficulties.
Suhaimi said it was sad to note that fees to pursue the Masters and PhD courses are extremely high, “as if to stop the students’ wish and to curb their potentials in higher education”.
He blamed the state of affairs on spiraling prices of essential goods and day-to-day costs.
“Many students are forced to work part-time and there are instances of some who are unable to go back to their hometowns during semester breaks because they have to work to support their studies.”
The FT PAS Youth also said the high interest of 4 per cent imposed by PTPTN only worsens the plight of students, adding that it feared that in the event of any financial desperation, some may be duped into immoral activities such as working at night clubs.
“(We) hope the 4 per cent interest by PTPTN will be abolished to give comfort to the rakyat. The slogan ‘People First, Performance Now’ can only be meaningful if the government replaces the loan with scholarship,” added Suhaimi.