By ELAINE FAITH C. BUOT
(from the pages of The Reflection 2014-2015, 1st issue)
Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro says “Our mandate is to provide every Filipino child with access to quality education. The decision to increase the tuition subsidy under the Education Service Contracting (ESC) is part of our continuing thrust to democratize access to quality education across the country.”
From the P6,500.00 subsidy last year, the amount has increased to P7,500.00 per student in participating schools outside Metro Manila for school year 2014-2015. The number of slots available for the subsidy has also increased from last year’s 800,000 to 1,000,000 this school year.
ESC is a scheme under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) wherein the government subsidizes the tuition fee of students who enroll in private schools to help decongest public school population. It is jointly implemented by DepEd and FAPE. ESC grants, according to their conditions, only cover four years of Junior High School, which is from Grade 7 to 10. Certain conditions also apply whether the student is allowed to renew the grant or not.
According to Rose Minda Buot, a mother of 5, the subsidy is of big help for the financial aid of her family. “P7,500.00 is a big amount; especially these days. Nobody can give you that much money without exerting effort in your job.” The ESC is a success for the government; specifically, the Department of Education. The DepEd together with FAPE aim to maximize the slots available for the following years to come.