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NILAI: The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has not issued any directive prohibiting public higher education institutions (IPTA) from participating in programmes organised by opposition-led state governments.

MOHE deputy minister Datuk Mohammad Yusof Apdal (pix) said the ministry is open and always welcomed programmes that add value and empowered the university and students, but they must abide by the set rules.

“As far as I know, we have never imposed such a ban. If students want to participate, they have to abide by the rules and ask for permission,” he told reporters after opening the community colleges’ commemoration ceremony today.

He was commenting on a statement by State Industry and Investment, Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation committee chairman Professor Dr Haim Hilman Abdullah who is seeking clarification from the MOHE on an alleged ban on IPTA participation in programmes organised by the Kedah government recently.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Yusof said the MOHE was committed to strengthening community colleges across the country so that these institutions are truly able to empower the local community.

To strengthen technical and vocational education, the ministry has introduced a micro-credit programme in three community colleges in Pasir Gudang, Segamat and Bandar Penawar in Johor Bahru as a pilot project.

The programme will be expanded to other community colleges including in Sabah and Sarawak, he said.

Meanwhile, he said the MOHE will investigate the allegation related to the zero balance policy that was doing its round on social media yesterday.

This requires every student to first pay the semester fee before being allowed to enrol in a subject at a local public university. - Bernama