Scholarship program seeks to decongest Taguig public schools

By Alexander Villafania

TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA - The administration of Taguig City is taking a bold move in decongesting the overcrowded classrooms of public schools with a scholarship program that would transfer some first year student-recipients to private schools within the city.

Around P1.121 billion has been allocated by the city government for its Taguig Learners Certificate (TLC) initiative that will serve up to 1,500 students from eight public high schools. The recipients will be moved to 27 private high schools within the city.

An amount of P10,000 will be set aside as tuition for each student recipient, with an additional P5,000 to cover for purchase of books and school materials.

Taguig City will work with the Association of Private School Administrators (APSA) to make recommendations to the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding the schools that will be accredited to participate in the scholarship program.

Taguig City Mayo Lani Cayetano said the goal is to lessen the pressure on schools and students to learn in an otherwise congested environment. She cited the experience of many public elementary schools where some teachers were handling classes of up to 50 to 60 pupils.

The move is also part of the city’s program to improve its reputation, which was highlighted when public schools in Taguig City performed the second lowest among 16 City School Divisions in the National Capital Region (NCR) during the 2009 National Achievement Test.

Citing city statistics, Cayetano noted that Taguig City had an enrollment of 34,205 public high school students in 2011 to 2012. The average number of students per class in the city's 12 public schools is 68, which is beyond the recommended ratio of 1:45 per classroom by the DepEd.

Apart from the TLC, the Taguig City administration has also set aside around P100 million for various scholarship programs, as well as another P200 million to construct or repair public school buildings.

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