Roco Seeks Education Aid for Poor Kids
Education Secretary Raul Roco said he will ask President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for help in the implementation of the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) which funds the education of children of poor families in private schools who cannot be accommodated in public schools.
GASTPE is similar to the voucher system lobbied for by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) in Congress.
If implemented, it make make children of marginalized families government scholars.
The only known government scholars are students at the University of the Philippines (UP), Philippine Science High School (PSHS), some students at state universities or colleges (SUCs), and grantees of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholarship program.
The DECS chief said that the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) allocated P700 million for GASTPE this year. He said, however, that the allocation of the fund will depend on the capacity of private schools to accomodate more children and the presence of public education in their areas.
Roco estimates that if there are 3,000 private schools, they could get around P200,000 each.
Smaller schools could get less than P100,000 while the bigger schools could be given as much as P1 million to balance the help the DECS would extend to the private schools.
Roco, who authored the Study Now, Pay Later Scheme in the 1970s, said GASTPE will benefit both the poor children and the accredited private schools. …