MIRI: Sarawak’s first Student Transport Subsidy Programme, offering bus fare aid to secondary students from low-income families, was launched today with the participation of 60 students.
DAP Pujut assemblyman, Dr Ting Tiong Choon, said the programme was a joint initiative by him and the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Baru Miri parent-teacher association (PTA) where parents merely pay RM30 in transport cost to the PTA, with the rest funded by his service centre.
“This year, the estimated subsidy is RM20,000,” he told Bernama, adding that most of the pupils originate from his constituency.
Dr Ting said the idea was sparked after the PTA told him about the difficulty of parents sending their children to school, especially with bus transport getting more expensive.
“There are parents who work in the morning who drop their children off at school before 5.30am in order for them to clock in on time,” he said.
He believes the programme will contribute to students staying alert during lessons because they will have more sleep.
He said it may also influence school attendance to rise to 95%.
“We will consider providing more bus transportation services if the need arises,” he said.
He said SMK Baru Miri has 818 pupils, and more than 60% of them come from families who live on an income of less than RM3,000 per month. — Bernama