SIBUGAY, Zamboanga City, Feb. 17, 2011â€”At least 100 poor but deserving students in a local public high school here got a pledge from the provincial government to allocate some P400,000 to cover the cost of their secondary education.
Gov. Rommel A. Jalosjos signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Kabasalan National High School (KNHS) through its drop-out reduction program to adopt at least 100 high school students for school year 2011-2012.
The drop-out reduction program was initiated by KNHS few years back.
Estrellita Pena, Metrobank 2010 Outstanding Teacher awardee and head of the drop-out reduction program in the school, said the initiative was developed due to prevalence of drop-out problems among students.
â€œIt has been a common problem among public schools where students dropped out of school due to poverty,â€ she said.
Education statistics showed that the over-all cohort survival and completion rates are on the decline. Cohort Survival Rate (CSR) is defined as the percentage of enrollees at the beginning grade or year in a given school year who reached the final grade or year of the elementary or secondary level. It is a measure of the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of education services in the country.
According to Pena, every 100 pupils who entered grade 1 only 56 are able to finish elementary education and 15 are able to complete high school.
â€œThe problem is there and something must be done to address it,â€ she asserted.
She is optimistic, however, that with the support from the provincial government the program will address the â€œproblem our school is facing and help the students to be back in school.â€
In a MOA signed Feb. 15, the governor agrees to allocate some P400,000 to cover the cost of public high school education to 100 selected students or an allocation of P4,000 each student.
Initially, the provincial chief executive was set to sign the MOA in the amount of P300,000 but was changed after computations showed that bigger amount is needed to fund the drop-out reduction program.
â€œWhen we re-computed it was found out that the amount should be raised to P4,000 for each student,â€ the governor explained to media during the press conference inside the Kabasalan National High School (KNHS) in Kabasalan town, this province.
He stressed that education is one of the priority concerns of his administration.
â€œYou know my soft spot which is the interest and welfare of the children,â€ Jalosjos said. The governor is the son of former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo J. Jalosjos, Sr. He is on his first term as a governor of the province when he defeated former congresswoman Ann Hofer during 2010 elections.
â€œBasta edukasyon, katulong ninyo ako (When it comes to education, I am your partner),â€ the governor enthused as he vowed to make the adopt-a-student scheme become a provincial government initiative if the outcome will be positive. (Antonio M. Manaytay)