95 IPs Get Educational Assistance from Capitol

Ninety-five Indigenous Peoples (IPs) who are elementary and secondary students belonging to the Ati and Ata tribal communities from different towns and cities of the province received educational assistance from the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental through its scholarship bridging program dubbed “Educational Assistance for Indigenous Peoples Basic Education”.

NOSP Head Karen Dinsay (seated center) together with Milina Jeruta of NCIP, among others, at the distribution of the educational assistance to IP scholars in Brgy. Puey, Sagay City, Thursday.*(Capitol photo)

The program is aimed at providing the Ati and Ata elementary and high school students’ access to formal education while at the same time increasing the number of IPs who would want to pursue tertiary education.

Under the program, elementary students will be given P350.00 per month while high school students will receive P750.00 per month for school year 2016-2017.

The educational assistance amounting to P383,950 were personally given to 41 elementary students and to 54 high school students of Toboso, Calatrava and Isabela towns and the cities of Sagay, Escalante, Cadiz and Himamaylan, who gathered in four separate venues.

Covering seven months of assistance, elementary students received P2,450.00 each while high school students received P5,250.00 each, the remaining three-month assistance will be given in April.

The students together with their parents signed a Scholarship Agreement with the Provincial Government, where it is stated that the beneficiaries must maintain an average grade of 80 percent and with no grades below 75 percent in any subject.

Negros Occidental Scholarship Program Division head, Karen Dinsay, who represented Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. in the distribution of educational assistance, visited northern and southern tribal communities since February 16 to 20, 2017.

She challenged the students and their parents to make the most of the programs offered by Gov. Marañon specifically for the Indigenous Peoples and to develop a sense of appreciation for these programs that cut across cultural differences to provide IPs equal opportunities and access to education. She said that she is hoping this program will serve as an inspiration to the students to strive and improve their scholastic performance so that later on, there will be more IPs enrolled in college.

The scholars and their parents expressed their gratitude to Gov. Marañon for the assistance given to them, which according to them is a big help especially in buying school supplies and in making their school projects.

At present 24 scholars have already graduated under the NOSP’s scholarship program for IPs while 34 are currently enrolled in college, of which 13 scholars will be graduating this March and soon, a new batch of 50 IPs will soon be signing a Memorandum of Agreement with the Governor for school year 2017-2018 as NOSP grantees.

Also present in the turn-over ceremony were Milina Jeruta and Reshel Sombrador of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) who helped in the evaluation of the scholars, Gary Gecosala of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office, and Thea Marie Palacio of the NOSP, among others.*(Capitol News)