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Ilocos Region

PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Batac’s public education sector gets boost

by Cristina Arzadon

BATAC CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA) -- Having secured its cityhood status, the Batac city government will strengthen its education sector with the reactivation of its city schools division and allocation of more funds for its public schools and teachers.

The City Division Schools of Batac, the 14th division in the llocos Region, folded up more than a year ago due to the uncertainty of Batac’s cityhood bid in the Supreme Court. The high court finally reversed its previous ruling and declared Batac along with other cities as having complied with the requirements to become a city.

Batac Mayor Jeffrey Nalupta said the education sector expects dramatic improvements with the re-establishment of the city division schools.

“With a division soon again all our own, we can expect dramatic improvements in the quality of education, teachers and students. More personalized attention (will now be) given to all schools,” he said.

Improving public education is one of the goals set out by the provincial government under its Millenium Development Goals.

Other programs that will be expanded include the “Text to Teach Program” sponsored by the Ayala Foundation including a consortium of other cooperators and the city government.

The program was first established in 10 schools in Batac to improve the quality of education in the core subject areas of Math, Science and English. It is being eyed to be implemented in other public grade schools.

To bridge the widening teacher to student ratio, the city government shouldered the salaries of at least 17 public school teachers in answer to the Department of Education’s tight financial position.

Nalupta said the city government has also shared its resources with the provincial government to support its “Sagip Maestra” program by footing a portion of the honorarium given to teachers assigned at the Batac National High School.

On top of teachers’ fund support, the city government also maintains a roll of scholars at the state-run Mariano Marcos State University paying for the tuition fees of 162 select students.

Monthly allowances are also given to 51 students who are enrolled in the MMSU’s College of Agriculture under the Fast Pace program.

In the elementary level, scholarship programs are also given to pupils who finish school with honors. At least 276 pupils each year are given cash subsidies from various public schools. (ANL/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)

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