P10B to fund scholarships for the poor | Inquirer News

P10B to fund scholarships for the poor

/ 03:31 AM February 10, 2012

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad Jr.

The Aquino administration has allotted an estimated P9.8 billion to fund a broad range of government scholarship programs that will benefit more than a million poor but deserving students nationwide for 2012.

According to Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, P6.28 billion will be used by the Department of Education for its Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe) program.

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“By investing in scholarships for our most deserving students and enhancing their natural aptitudes, we’re also giving them the means and opportunity to become highly functional members of society,” Abad said in a statement.

“Our society is increasingly becoming knowledge-based, so we need to nurture our people’s advantages in knowledge industries such as business and knowledge process outsourcing. Thus, strengthening our education sector is central to President Aquino’s strategy for advancing socio-economic development,” he added.

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The increased funding for Gastpe—up from just P5.83 billion in 2011—will be used to increase the program’s beneficiaries from 757,401 scholars in 2011 to one million in 2012.

Gastpe was launched by the DepEd in 1994 to subsidize the transfer of public high school students to private schools to decongest severely crowded public schools.

The Department of Budget and Management said the program focuses on graduating elementary school students, who will also be amply supported by the government until they finish high school.

“We recognize the value of Gastpe as an innovative project that can vastly improve our youth’s access to quality education; at the same time, to counter the problem of inadequate public school facilities and teachers,” Abad said.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), for its part, has a P2.1-billion allocation to aid scholars in science education.

Out of this amount, P1.3 billion will fund the DOST’s Science Education Institute to help over 10,000 scholars who are already at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Originally posted at 11:23 pm | Thursday, February 09,  2012

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TAGS: Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, Education, Government, Poverty, scholarship programs, scholarships
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