KUALA LUMPUR: PETRONAS is increasing two categories of allowances for students under its sponsorship, involving 2,267 individuals, with immediate effect.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the first category involved an increase in the allowance for books and study materials from RM1,000 to RM1,500 for students in Malaysia and an additional RM500 for students abroad.
He said the second category involved students under the PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP), where the onboarding allowance would be increased from RM4,500 to RM5,000.
“The increase in these two allowances takes into account the rising cost of living and this assistance is hoped will ease the burden on students and their parents, as well as further facilitate the student’s learning process.
“It is hoped that this sponsorship will encourage students to excel in the pursuit of their dreams and return home with success, and to serve your beloved country,” he said at the 2022 PESP award presentation ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre today.
Ismail Sabri said the PESP programme had produced professional and skilled workforce among the young generation, especially to achieve the target of a high-income developed nation, as stipulated in the 12th Malaysia Plan.
Therefore, he reminded the PESP recipients not to waste the opportunity given by PETRONAS and to excel in their studies and then return to serve the country.
This year, a total of 600 students, which is the highest so far, were offered to study under the PESP programme, involving sponsorship amounting to over RM340 million.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said education would continue to be the government’s main agenda by emphasising co-curricular development, innovation and academic achievement.
He said the government also viewed seriously the number of students in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), which is currently at 47 per cent, compared with Pure Science, at 19 per cent, by examining the direction as preparation to face the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).
The prime minister said the people should ensure that the country does not lag behind in STEM to ensure it remains sustainable and competitive globally.
He said PETRONAS is one of the strong supporters of the government’s efforts to strengthen the field of science, technology and innovation (STI) as an enabler for strengthening the country’s socioeconomics.
“In fact, the country’s petroleum giant company has also implemented various initiatives and programmes to instil students’ interest in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM) since primary school.
“I was also informed that PETRONAS also supports the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Program (TVET) which is the country’s priority to prepare future talents.
“Through the Vocational Institution Sponsorship and Training Assistance (VISTA), a total of 11,450 youths nationwide are given various assistance, including equipment, learning and training assistance as well as advisory services,” he said.