Saturday, July 19, 2008

State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Arroyo: What's Next

Since the 2007 State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, what has been done in education? 

Tracking the 2007 SONA targets in education, this paper has gathered the biggest achievements the Administration has implemented based on its previous targets.

In 2007, the President told that country would spend P150 B investments, the figure P29 billion more than the annual allocation. Just where did the investment go?

According to an independent research, from the amount, the country has maximized its power to hire and open new teaching positions with 53,026 posts created, the biggest number hired in the past year. 

As to scholarships, the government has dispensed 563,906 financial subsidies to students, another P475,560 for the scholarship funds for students enrolled in the public schools in the form of Educational Service Contracting agreements and another P88,346 for educational vouchers to students now enrolled in the private schools. 

The scholarships aim to decongest public high schools by sending its spill-over to the private schools and subsidizing their educational fees.

In the vocational schools alone, the government turned over P1 billion to the country's premier skills training agency for vocational scholarships.

Aside from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) P1B funds, another billion was released for its scholarship programs, and the Training for work scholarships availed by the students, and the rest went to the students' loan program, TESDA sources revealed. 

In the year alone, TESDA reported 96,809 graduates who were lined up for immediate work both here and abroad.

In the same line, from the same amount, about another billion were invested to support further studies in engineering research and technology development program.

The amount is also part of the P3 billion science and engineering research and development technology including masters degree scholarships in the country's seven universities, the country's Education department record shows. - PIA