Government Financial Assistance
The ESC Program aims to democratize and improve access to quality junior high school education through government extension of financial assistance to deserving elementary school graduates who wish to pursue their junior high school education in private schools. By providing support to students in private schools, the Program also contributes towards reducing class sizes in public junior high schools to desired levels, especially for those experiencing shortage of classrooms and teachers. Thus, the ESC is one means by which the government is able to decongest public junior high schools.
Program beneficiaries in ESC participating private junior high schools are assured of the Government's commitment to support their education for as long as they meet the requirements for regular promotion to each of the succeeding school years until they graduate.
The ESC is a concrete demonstration of public-private partnership that is apparent at all levels of the program's operations. DepEd, the PEAC through its National Secetariat, and the participating private schools recognize the need to continuously monitor and evaluate the ESC. A database on the ESC has been developed and is being maintained. The DepEd shall allocate and obligate the anual GASTPE budget within the calendar year so that payments can be effected to the participating schools on time.
As part of the ESC program and pursuant to Section 14, "Teachers' Salary Subsidy Fund" (TSS) of RA 8545, the DepED has earmarked a portion of its GASTPE appropriations to finance the grant of salary subsidy to teachers in participating private secondary schools in the ESC Program. The grant of salary subsidy to licensed teachers in participating private junior high schools in the ESC program was implemented beginning in SY 2009-2010.
The Department of Education (DepEd) will be subsidizing fees of Grade 10 completers from public and private Junior High Schools (JHS) who want to enroll in a (1) private high school, (2) private university or college, (3) state or local university or college, or (4) technical-vocational school, which will offer Senior High School (SHS) starting SY 2016-2017. (DepEd) will be subsidizing fees of Grade 10 completers from public and private Junior High Schools (JHS) who want to enroll in a (1) private high school, (2) private university or college, (3) state or local university or college, or (4) technical-vocational school, which will offer Senior High School (SHS) starting SY 2016-2017.
The detailed guidelines on the implementation of the Senior High School (SHS) Voucher Program (VP) through DepEd Order 46, s. 2015 states that all Grade 10 completers of public JHS, including State Universities and Colleges (SUC)/Local Universities and Colleges (LUC) JHS are qualified voucher recipients (QVR) and shall receive the full voucher value. Grade 10 Education Service Contracting (ESC) grantees from ESC participating schools are also QVRs and will be given 80% of the voucher value.
Non-ESC students from private JHS can apply for vouchers subject to an assessment of their socioeconomic status. If deemed qualified, they will also receive 80% of the voucher value. A QVR who successfully enrolls in a non-DepEd SHS Provider becomes a Voucher Program Beneficiary (VPB). The SHS Voucher Program will only cover two years regardless of the number of years it takes for the student to finish SHS. Vouchers are only valid if redeemed within the first semester of the school year immediately after the completion of JHS. Voucher payments will be released on a per semester basis to the SHS provider where the VPB is enrolled.
A VPB will face disqualification from participation in the SHS VP if he/she drops out in the middle of the school year; does not re-enroll the following school year (unless the reason for leaving school is due to health reasons and that the period of medical leave is not more than one school year); is retained in the same grade level; transfers to another SHS provider within the school year; and/or transfers to a DepEd SHS provider.
A VPB is allowed to shift to another strand or track after the 1st semester of Grade 11 within the same school or after Grade 11 whether in the same school or to another school.
Qualified applicants will be given QVR certificates through the Online Voucher Application Portal (OVAP) website (http://ovap.deped.gov.ph). They are required to attend the registration program to be scheduled by the PEAC National Secretariat at selected areas in the regions.