AHECS kicks off this year, to benefit Albayano studes
by MA Loterte
Legazpi City (1 February) -- The Provincial Government of Albay has slated the implementation of the Albay Higher Education Contribution Scheme (AHECS) this coming school year 2010-2011 that will benefit graduating high school and college students in the province.
Salceda said that AHECS is a concessional loan facility, adopting the Australian model, to motivate students from Albay province to finish high school because the provincial government assures them of easy access to tertiary education upon graduation.
He explained that the loan facility entails a deferred payment scheme, that is, AHECS pays fraction of school fees to the school and so to the student, adding that the same program offers P5,000 pesos loan per semester.
AHECS is an expanded version of the Brilliant Young Teacher (BRYT) and an education assistance program catered to community colleges and Bicol University satellite campuses offering tuition fee refund to qualified student-resident of Albay.
Salceda stressed that every family deserves to produce a new Albayano capable of attaining his personal happiness and well-being, fully deserving to occupy a rightful place in the society.
"The provincial government needs to complement the efforts of the parents thus intends to meet the learning needs of the individual and to improve the quality of life," he said.
AHECS is open to all Albayanos, who are high school graduates or college students enrolled in accredited Albay-based Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and technical vocational schools taking up a minimum of two-year course.
Salceda further said that AHECS does not prohibit the granting of loans to old and returning students at any levels from HEIs and technical vocational schools; neither has it prohibited the granting of loans to new students and transferees nor the course preference required and maintaining grade.
The guidelines also sets that AHECS grantees must finish the study in the prescribed course, regularly inform the provincial government, including change of name in case of female grantee, residents and employment.
It states that the loan shall bear an interest of rate of 10 percent per annum. Monthly amortization will be seven percent of gross monthly earnings of the grantees until fully paid.
The provincial government will require loan payment after the completion of the prescribed course, when the grantee decided to stop availing the loan, and upon employment. In case the grantee stops it shall be considered a breach of agreement and the parent is immediately obliged to settle the availed loan.
This year, the provincial government has allocated an amount of P16 million for AHECS alone and P328 million for educational assistance program.
Albay provincial government has been aggressive in promoting universal access to education, also through the Project Education Quality for Albayanos (EQUAL) providing education assistance or tuition fee refund to all Albayanos enrolled in eight community colleges and three Bicol University local campuses. (PIA V) [top]