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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Extend JPA loan scheme

JPA offers scholarships to medical students of local public universities who are willing to sign contracts to serve the Government for 10 years after they successfully obtain their medical degree.

JPA also offers exemption for repayment of study loans of between RM200K and RM250K to students taking critical courses like medicine, dentistry and pharmacy overseas in certain countries if these students agree to sign the same contract to serve the Government for 10 years.

The latest good news is that the Govern­ment has decided to continue this exemption for repayment of study loans to students of critical courses in Russia and Indonesia as well after having discontinued it for some time.

The entry qualifications for medical courses in Russia and Indonesia are very much lower compared to those of our local private universities and it has now been a much easier route to study medicine in these countries.

The Government is kind to waive the study loans of these students who want to come back home to serve the country when they graduate.

There are still many students taking these critical courses as well in the local private universities and most of them are financed by parents with their hard-earned savings.

The entry qualifications for critical courses at some of our local private universities are stricter compared to those overseas, especially Indonesia and Russia.

These students are usually with very good results but were unable to gain entry into the local public universities due to the limited seats available. They end up in the local private universities because their parents cannot afford to send them overseas.

With the help of the PTPTN loan of up to RM150K and the balance financed by parents, these students are able to continue their studies in their desired fields, paying course fees of over RM200K. The PTPTN loan is taken with a contract and also the conscience that it must be paid back.

As a parent who has a daughter studying medicine in a local private university, I would like to appeal to the Government to extend its kindness to grant the same JPA scholarship/loan repayment exemption to students in local private universities who are also willing to sign the contract to serve the country for 10 years or more when they graduate to become doctors. These future doctors in the local private universities should also be appreciated and recognised as they are locally-trained.

Civil Servant,

Penang.

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