Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the PerantiSiswa Programme will begin to accept applications for Phase 2 starting 1 August.
In the second phase, eligibility is expanded to students at teaching institutes (IPG) under the Ministry of Education as well as students at matriculation colleges.
Annuar Musa Added that students from B40 families with a household income of less than RM4,800 per month are eligible and the delivery for the second phase of PerantiSiswa is expected to start in October.
He also said that the first phase of the programme has received 100,000 applications and those applicants will receive their devices in August.
The announcement was made in Parliament and was a bit of a surprise since the government never announced officially what the PerantiSiswa device is.
How Did We Get Here?
The PerantiSiswa programme was a part of Budget 2022 which was announced on 29 October 2021. It was designed for B40 students who study at institutes of higher learning.
The budget for the program was RM450 million but the number of students it’s expected to serve from the day the programme was announced to the most recent estimation decreased from 600,000 to 350,000 students. This increased the cost available per device.
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However, the government never shared with the public any details about the actual device apart from its minimal specifications.
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It was then revealed that students will have to return the devices to their respective learning institutions and that the supplier of the device will have to provide support as well.
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The government then announced that PerantiSiswa is delayed because the tender for the initial mysterious supplier has been cancelled by the Finance Ministry.
READ MORE: PerantiSiswa Delayed. Finance Ministry Cancelled Initial Tender Says Annuar
Where We Are Now
What the PerantiSiswa device is and who is the manufacturer remains a mystery. But what we know is since the number of applicants is still below the 350,000 students estimated, the money available to be spent per tablet could have increased.
If the next phase of the programme attracts the same number of students bringing the total to 200,000 and the government stops there, we can estimate that the cost per device (budget divided by the number of students) is approximately RM2,250 which is more realistic for what the government is asking for.