THE first batch of scholars selected and pre-qualified by Iloilo City Government's screening committee will study at the city's partner school starting 2011.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has already instructed executive assistant Mathilde Octavio to draft a comprehensive educational plan that will absorb all qualified City Government scholars into one school.

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The move will abolish the old City Government scholarship program in 2011 but will reinforce the college education of poor but deserving students to take up college courses.

Octavio said a memorandum of agreement will be forged soon between the city and Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) as the much preferred school for two-year technical courses or four-year baccalaureate degrees.

The memorandum of agreement will be inked by Mabilog and WVCST president Dr. Luis Sorolla to become the basis of a city public college within the WVCST campus in La Paz district.

Under the new educational plan, high school graduates with an average grade of 85 and above will be qualified to take the four-year course. Those below 85 to 80 will qualify for the two-year vocational or technical course.

Octavio said the ongoing City Government scholarship program, however, will continue until the presently enrolled scholars graduate from their chosen course.

This year, the scholars were selected and enrolled in a two-year or four-year course in different colleges and universities in the city.

Octavio said the old scholarship program would allow these scholars to continue their study until they graduate from their courses in their chosen school.

In 2011, the city public college would offer two-year vocational and technical courses and four-year degree courses at WVCST. The scholars will wear the prescribed school uniform but with a logo or vest to identify them as City Government scholars with a separate graduation ceremony.

The City Government reportedly allotted P3 million in 2010 budget for the scholarship program and is eyeing P5 million and another separate amount for the medals and citations in 2011.

On the other hand, the Technical Institute of Iloilo City (TIIC) in Molo district will soon be accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority with the purchase of additional equipment for three vocational courses such as automotive.

Octavio said a new TIIC two-storey building was recently constructed to accommodate more indigent students to avail of free technical courses. (LCP)