THE Department of Education (DepEd) has expanded the access to secondary education through the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (Gastpe) program.
The Gastpe program aims to provide financial assistance for private junior high school learners and teachers through the Educational Service Contracting scheme and Teachers’ Salary Subsidy Fund, and for Senior High School students in non-DepEd schools through the Senior High School Voucher Program.
As of March 31, 2017, the DepEd has already paid out 99.99 percent of the billings received for the Educational Service Contracting and 98.90 percent for the Senior High School Voucher Program, with actual payments amounting to P8.14 billion and P8.68 billion, respectively.
This grant covers four years of junior high school from Grades 7 to 10. The Educational Service Contracting grants shall start at the Grade 7 level and shall not be awarded at higher grade levels. The amount of the grant awarded to the student at Grade 7 shall be the same amount granted until Grade 10.
For the coming school year 2017-2018, Grade 7 Educational Service Contracting grantees in regions outside the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) will receive a subsidy of P8,500.
For Educational Service Contracting grantees in schools in Metro Manila, the amount of the subsidy is P11,000.
Moreover, DepEd has designated a portion of its Gastpe appropriations to finance the salary subsidy of licensed teachers in Educational Service Contracting-participating private junior high schools.
The amount of the salary subsidy shall be P18,000 per teacher per year, subject to adjustments by the State Assistance Council.
As mandated by Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, the coverage of DepEd’s Gastpe program was extended to qualified Senior High School students who wish to enroll in non-DepEd schools. These include private high schools, universities or colleges; local universities and colleges; state universities and colleges; and technical and vocational schools that offer Senior High School.
In the 2017 DepEd budget, P23 billion is allotted to provide assistance to private education in the country.
A public junior high school or an state universities and colleges/local universities and colleges Grade 10 completer who enrols in a non-DepEd school within the NCR highly urbanized cities outside NCR, or outside the two given, will receive a voucher amounting to P22,500, P20,000 or P17,500, respectively.
Meanwhile, a private high school Grade 10 completer who enrols in a non-DepEd school within the National Capital Region, highly urbanized cities outside National Capital Region, or outside the two given, will receive a voucher amounting to P18,000, P16,000, or P14,000, respectively.
Furthermore, regardless of the school origin, the student may receive a voucher amounting to P11,250 if enrolled in state universities and colleges/local universities and colleges within NCR; P10,000 if in highly urbanized cities outside NCR; or P8,750 if within all other locations. NEIL A. ALCOBER