THE Department of Education (DepEd) assisted more than 800,000 students in private schools through the Government Assistance for Students and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe) in 2013. “Our mandate is to provide every Filipino child with access to quality education,” Education Secretary Armin Luistro said. He added that the Gastpe is part of the department’s continuing thrust to democratize access to quality education in the country. Earlier this year, DepEd increased the subsidy for students in private schools outside Metro Manila from P6,500 to P7,500 per student per year. Through the Gastpe, the government will be providing educational assistance to nearly one million private high school students from Grades 7 to 10 this school year.