Our Student Assistance program provides children of school age with an incentive to go to school. Recipients are 53 at present and have to maintain good grades to continue receiving their allowance. This “Back to School” program provides daily pocket money averaging P200 to P400 per month ($5 to $10/month) for the students’ school supplies, uniforms, school bags, transportation and projects on the condition that they maintain good grades.
Since October 2003, the burden for older children who stay home rather than going to public school led to the formation of a “educational assistance program” for elementary and high school students.
Many Filipino families cannot afford to send their children to school. Some children who get enrolled are too embarrassed to keep attending for lack money to get there or to eat. Others cannot buy needed textbooks or accomplish required school projects. Some are compelled by their parents to work. A number of these get hooked on a harmful vice.
For many young ladies, the traditional provincial mentality in their homes had formed their personality. As they remain in seclusion they retain the rules and roles assigned to them without ever getting emancipated. Their aspirations would often be limited to being domestic helpers in the Middle East when they finish elementary school; hoping money will make their lives better. But our educational assistance is changing all the above….
Daily Allowance and Tuition Subsidy
The “Back to School” program provides a food allowance of P10/day for grade school students and P25/day for high school students. Sometimes the youth save their allowance for a couple of months for school supplies or to buy a pair of shoes. Without this monthly allowance, many of these children would simply stay idle, on the streets and open to a dissolute life, which often leads to selling drugs.
This program is supported by individual donations from friends. Early beneficiaries of this scholarship have grown up and as of this writing, out of the 53 present recipients of this educational assistance, 11 are in grade school, 15 in high school, 2 in a vocational course, and 25 in college!
There are a lot of public schools in the Philippines but few public universities. Our early recipients have grown up to become young men and your ladies and reached college! This is changing the community indeed! Rare are the families that can boast a college graduate. But supporting 25 of our beneficiaries in college is presently our greatest need. Students have a fixed allowance of P400 per month plus a tuition fees subsidy from P4,000 up to P10,000 (= $100 to $250) per semester, depending on the course. They receive this amount for each semester, that’s twice a year, as well as occasional help for projects and books. But a good job after graduation can take a whole family out of poverty. How about you empowering a family? Click here!
Many of the children who come to the community from the province may be already be in their teens while still in grade 2. This is because schools in the province are few and often an hour’s walk from home. This prompted the formation, in 2004, of English and Math tutorial classes to enable them to take acceleration tests and advance to the proper grade, as well as to assist slow learners under the feeding and scholarship program. Today, the school assistance (tutorial) programs cater to 54 children with 11 making it to university (3 of whom had do drop this semester for family financial strains or marriage).
Alternative Learning System
We are also providing non-formal education through ALS, a community-based, ladderized and modular program for out-of-school or working youths. Our ALS partner meets our non-schooled youth twice a week, providing them with an alternative to regular classroom studies where they would be required to attend daily. This program teaches all academic subjects covering the sciences, mathematics, English, Filipino and social studies.