TASEK GELUGOR: The Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda) has allocated RM70,000 to 400 students to lessen the burden of their parents in buying school supplies before they return to school.

Its chairman Datuk Shaik Hussein Mydin said the students were from the B40 group namely poor families, asnaf, single mothers and low-income earners in Penang.

“Through the PERDA4U programme, we selected 400 students from 47 foster schools in Penang to help them with the returning to school process and this year PERDA helped more people than in previous years, with around 300 more recipients.

“Each student received aid in the form of an RM150 voucher to buy school uniforms, shoes and socks, and we hope that this will help ease the burden of families in facing the new 2024 school session,“ he told reporters after inaugurating the PERDA4U Back to School Programme in Midtown Tasek Gelugor here today.

He said the programme is part of the activities under Perda to assist B40 families within the Perda's operational area.

Shaik Hussein said although the amount of allocation spent was not able to solve the financial problems faced by families who have many children in school, it would at least ease the burden of B40 families when school starts.

“This is an annual programme and we hope in the future, Perda will be able to help more school students. Our focus in Penang is indeed to help the needy group, which is the B40, and other groups including traders and entrepreneurs. Today, our focus is on school aid,“ he said.

Meanwhile, school aid recipient Mazli Ismail, 51, said he is grateful to Perda as his eldest son Alif Ziyad will be entering Standard One.

The father of two said he and his wife were eagerly awaiting this aid as their income was not sufficient as he is a drinks seller.

Nurasyilah Mohd Yusoff, 32, said one of her three children is going to school this year, therefore, receiving early school aid helped ease the family's burden.

“Today my eldest son Muhammad Aiman ​​Raziq Suhaidi, 11, received an aid voucher and this lightened our burden even though he was the only one who got the aid as school supplies are quite expensive,“ said Nurasyilah, a housewife, whose husband is a mechanic.

“We managed to save on my son’s expenses for school supplies although we have to spend on school supplies for my other two school-going children.”

Meanwhile, Nur Asyikin Othman, 32, also a housewife, was thankful for the school aid her eldest daughter Nur Sofiah Atiqah Mohd Nur Amin, who is entering Standard Three, received. It is a saving for Nur Asyikin and her husband who also have a set of six-year-old twins who will enter preschool soon. -Bernama

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