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PIA Press Release

PGMA stresses importance of quality education in fight vs poverty

Quezon City (25 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo underscored today the importance of quality education in uplifting the lives of the poor, as she congratulated the schools and students who topped the 2006 National Achievement Test (NAT).

In a roundtable discussion with Education Secretary Jesli Lapuz and the principal teachers of the topnotcher-schools in the 2006 NAT, the President stressed that the lives of millions of Filipinos would improve through education.

"Education is very important in my goal to eradicate poverty and improve the economy," she said.

The NAT is conducted every year in all public elementary and high schools to assess the overall scholastic performances of public schools and public school students nationwide.

The result of the NAT serves as an aid to government policymakers in the continuing upgrading of the country’s educational system, the President said.

Following her interaction with the principals of the topnotch schools, the President expressed confidence that quality education could be attained with the full support of the local government, the community and the business sector.

This year’s topnotcher-schools are the Balatero Elementary School in Oriental Mindoro (1st place), and the Tinago Elementary School in Southern Leyte (2nd place) in the elementary level and, the Calbayog City National High School and Sulat National High School in Eastern Samar,1st and 2nd placers, respectively, in the high school level.

Julie Albior and Flores Diwang, both from Bohol province, were the topnotchers in the high school category, with identical 100 percent score in mathematics.

Informed that the two students were unable to go to college because of poverty, the President instructed Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Carlito Puno to provide college scholarships to Albior and Diwang.

"That answered your prayers…You should get into engineering because the country needs engineers," the President told the two Boholano students who attributed their high scores to diligence, hard work and prayers.

Last March 1,560 sixth graders and 985,754 fourth year high school students took the NAT. (PIA) [top]

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