DepEd to continue assistance for scholars in private schools

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012


WITH several private schools increasing their tuition and other fees in June, officials assured the Department of Education (DepEd) will continue providing assistance to poor and deserving students who wish to study in private high schools.

Acting DepEd 7 Chief Carmelita Dulangon said the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe) will also encourage private schools to improve their performance.

Before they can avail themselves of Gastpe, schools should be accredited by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines and rated above standard by DepEd and the Fund for Assistance to Private Education (FAPE)’s certification program.

Gastpe gives P5,500 to a student to subsidize his or her tuition for four years, while teachers in private schools under Gastpe receive a salary subsidy of P1,000 every month.

As of March 16, DepEd 7 has authorized 26 preschool, elementary and secondary schools to raise their tuition and other fees this coming school year.

Average increases range from 4 to 42 percent.

Marcial Degamo, DepEd 7 chief on quality assurance and accountability division, said his office will continue to accept applications for tuition increases until May 15.

Dulangon said many private schools are compelled to increase their tuition in order to increase their teachers’ salary. Many teachers in private schools are tempted to transfer to public schools, which offer higher salaries to teachers.

DepEd requires private schools to set aside 70 percent of the increase in tuition for the salaries of teachers and 20 percent for the improvement of school facilities. Only 10 percent is allowed as return to investment.

Degamo encouraged fresh elementary graduates who wish to study in a private school to apply for the Gastpe program.

At present, 14,359 high school students in the region are Gastpe beneficiaries.

The Commission on Higher Education, meanwhile, has yet to release an official list of colleges and universities with approved increases in tuition and other fees. Among the major universities wanting to increase their tuition fee is the University of San Carlos (USC).

Bill Suico, a finance staff at USC, told Sun.Star Cebu the university applied for an eight percent increase in tuition for all undergraduate and graduate courses.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 11, 2012.

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