Keluarga Malaysia meals must consider diversity of racial composition at IPTs

14 Jul 2022 03:19pm
Minister of Higher Learning Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad
Minister of Higher Learning Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad

PUTRAJAYA - The meals offered for as low as RM3.50 under the Keluarga Malaysia Student Food Basket initiative should be appropriate and take into account the diverse racial composition at institutions of higher learning (IPTs), said Minister of Higher Learning Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

She said in a statement today that this was among the decisions agreed upon at the first meeting of the Keluarga Malaysia Student Livelihood Action Committee on Tuesday (July 12), which was also attended by the higher management or representatives of public universities (UA), private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) and National Student Consultative Council (MPPK).

She said the Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) Student Cost of Living Monitoring Team would also carry out continuous monitoring to check on the increase in prices of goods and services.

The committee meeting also agreed that a holistic, synergistic and sustainable action plan would be developed as a guideline for IPTs in an effort to strengthen the welfare of students, she said.

"Apart from the food cost aspect, this plan also takes into account a wider context of the cost of living of students. This includes the needs of teaching and learning like data plan and devices, accommodation, transport and fees," she said.

Noraini said the committee meeting agreed to strengthen the Student Food Bank initiative through the setting up of a Student Food Bank hub that will act as the collection and distribution centre for student necessities. Six hubs will be set up according to zones, namely North Zone, Central Zone, East Zone, South Zone, Sabah Zone and Sarawak Zone, she pointed out.

Being a pioneer project, she said Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia agreed to operate as the hub for Central Zone.

Noraini said the committee meeting also agreed that the wage rate for the Job on Campus (JoC) Programme at the IPT level be reviewed to be in line with the Minimum Wages Order 2022.

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"The IPTs were also advised to increase the number of JoC placements so that more students, especially those in need, are assisted and benefit through the programme," she said.

Noraini said the KPT would hold further discussions with the Finance Ministry to study the feasibility of giving rebates or tax exemptions to contributors who channel sponsorships in various forms relating to students' needs, including aid in cash, goods or services.

"This is to encourage joint collaborations with corporate and industrial entities as well as individuals," she said. - BERNAMA