DepEd ups subsidy for students in private high schools
Starting school year 2012- 2013, the subsidy for first year students who enrolling private secondary high schools outside the National Capital Region (NCR) under the government’s Education Service Contracting (ESC) program has been increased from P5,500 to P6,500 per annum and every year thereafter. ESC grantees in other year levels in non-NCR regions will still receive P5,500.
The ESC is a major program of the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) which provides financial assistance to students for the payment of their tuition fees in private high schools because they cannot be accommodated anymore in public schools due to an excess in enrolled students. It is geared towards reducing the class size to manageable levels in high schools, especially those experiencing shortage of classrooms and teachers.
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said GASTPE benefits both public and private schools while making education accessible to as many learners as possible. “To decongest public schools and make learning more conducive, we offer ESC to private schools as a way also to help increase their enrolment. We likewise offer subsidy to teachers of private high schools who participate in the program,” he added.
The management of GASTPE is contracted to the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE), a perpetual trust fund created by an agreement between the Philippine government and the US government under EO 156 s. 1968 to provide assistance to private education in the country. FAPE is chaired by the DepEd Secretary.
The parents shoulder the balance in excess of the P6,500 subsidy. Because of higher tuition fees charged by private secondary schools in Metro Manila, the subsidy per students in the NCR is P10,000 per annum.
The Education Voucher System (EVS) is a version of ESC, where a voucher is issued in the name of the student- beneficiary. The payment of subsidy under the ESC is channeled directly to the school. EVS started in 2006 as a way to increase enrolment in private high schools which also need government assistance to maintain their viability and remain a government partner in the delivery of education.
DepEd is set to expand the coverage of ESC after the EVS is phased out by school year 2014-2015 or as soon as the last batch of present beneficiaries graduates.
Figures from School Year 2011-2012 show that total government subsidy under both schemes amount to over P4.2 billion.
Luistro said that to date, there are a total of 637,794 ESC grantees while EVS has 59,914 for a total of 697,708 beneficiaries enrolled in 2,580 participating schools nationwide. END