MOA on Cebu City scholars signed

06/01/10 - Cebu City’s financially challenged high school graduates need not worry about tuition fees.

The city government has kept its promise to provide them with scholarships.

The city government yesterday signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with 14 partner universities, colleges and vocational schools in their scholarships program.

Department of Education Cebu City Schools Assistant Division Superintendent Salustiano Jimenez said nine universities and colleges and five vocational schools joined the program (see table).

The MOA, which was signed at the office of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, states that the schools will accept all the city's scholars for one academic year.

After this period, the student will be assessed for continued scholarship, vice mayor elect Augustus Joy Young, city consultant on education said.

Young said that based on the MOA, the school can charge the city with a maximum amount of P10,000 for each student’s tuition.

Every student from the mountain barangays will be alloted P20,000 – P10,000 for their tuition and another P10,000 in allowances at P1,000 each month.

Young said that he will still meet with the schools on the specifics of handing out the allowances.

Vouchers had been given to Cebu City public high school graduates during their graduation, Young said.

A voucher is presented to the partner school where the student wishes to be enrolled together with the school’s requirements for enrollment.

Jimenez said the schools that wish to partcipate in the program need to submit a certificate of legality and legitimacy from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) or the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

The interested institution must also get a tax clearance from the City Treasurer’s Office.

When asked if the scholarships program will continue under his administration, Cebu City Mayor-elect and Vice Mayor Michael Rama said that it will be reviewed after a year.

He said that there would be no reason for not renewing the agreement if it is productive for the schools and for the city.

Even with the tempting scholarship program offered by the city, Young said that not all of the graduates will be able to avail it.

“I expect that not everybody will enroll. We have more or less 8,500 high school graduates including (from the) Alternative Learning System (ALS) and I don't think everybody will enroll because others will still think about their uniforms and other things,” Young said.

He said only 50 percent to 65 percent of the high school graduates will avail of the program.

Even before the MOA signing yesterday, Young said about 2,000 high school graduates availed the program and enrolled in accredited schools.

Some 800 students were enrolled in Cebu Technical University, least 700 in University of Cebu and about 300 in the Cebu Institute of Technology.

Young said during the MOA signing that Osmeña expressed his concern that most of the college graduates in the city have not reached the standards of business companies.

He said the mayor encouraged the schools to discuss with the business sector what kind of graduates they need.

Young added that he plans to put up scholarship office, maybe a month or two months from now, that will devise ways of sending the poorest of the poor to college. (Inquirer)

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