A CEBU lawmaker disclosed that some one million students in private high schools will receive tuition aid as prescribed under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) Law.

Representative Eduardo Gullas (first district, Cebu) said that under the GASTPE Law, every high school students in private institution should receive between P5,000 to P10,000 tuition aid.

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Gullas said a total of P5.8 billion in fresh funding has been set aside to subsidize the tuition of private high school students under the program.

The amount is contained in the P207.3 billion allocated for the education sector from the proposed P1.645-trillion General Appropriations Act for 2011.

According to the lawmaker, the amount is 49 percent higher than the P3.9 billion earmarked in 2010.

Earlier, the Palace said President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has required the Department of Education (DepEd) to post the names of beneficiaries and the participating private schools in the agency's website.

“GASTPE is a four-year funding commitment. A student covered by the assistance stands to receive a total of P20,000 to P40,000 in tuition subsidy throughout his or her four years in a private high school,” Gullas said in a press statement.

GASTPE has three components -- education service contracting (ESC), the education voucher system (EVS), and the teacher salary subsidy (TSS).

In large-scale ESC with private high schools, the DepEd agrees to subsidize the tuition of students at a rate of P10,000 each for those in Metro Manila and P5,000 each for those in other parts of the country.

In the individual EVS, private high school students who apply for aid would each get a voucher of P5,000 to P10,000, which they can use to partly pay for their tuition.

In TSS, Gullas explained that teachers in private high schools who provide instruction to students under the ESC stand to receive salary subsidies ranging from P7,000 to P10,500 per month, depending on their loads.

GASTPE is meant to help decongest and reduce the class size to more manageable levels in public high schools, especially in areas with severe shortages of classrooms and teachers, stressed Gullas.

He said GASTPE also seeks to ease the growing migration of students to public high schools, mainly due to the soaring cost of tuition and miscellaneous fees in private institutions. (Kathrina Alvarez/With Press Release/Sunnex)