MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) opened Thursday applications for its voucher program for senior high school (SHS) students in private schools.
The program, administered by the Private Education Assistance Committee, provides financial assistance to qualified SHS students from private and non-DepEd public schools.
To apply, applicants must create an account at the Online Voucher Application Portal (OVAP). Deadline for the creation of an OVAP account is on Sept. 21, the DepEd said.
According to the DepEd, the following can apply for the voucher:
- Grade 10 completers from private schools in School Year (SY) 2020-2021 who are not Education Service Contracting (ESC) grantees
- Grade 10 completers from 2016 to 2020 who have not enrolled in Grade 11
- Alternative Learning System (ALS) Junior High School (JHS) level completers who passed the A&E Test not earlier than 2016 or ALS JHS level completers who passed portfolio assessment in SY 2019-2020 and SY 2020-2021
- Learners who passed the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) for Grade 10 not earlier than 2016 or those who will take the PEPT in SY 2021-2022
The following, meanwhile, are automatically qualified for the program:
- Students who completed Grade 10 in SY 2020-2021 in DepEd public schools
- Students who completed Grade 10 in SY 2020-2021 in state universities and colleges and local universities and colleges
- Students who completed Grade 10 in SY 2020-2021 in private schools who are ESC grantees
Deadline of application is on Sept. 23 while the results will be posted on Oct. 11, the DepEd said.
Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla earlier said the DepEd was projecting a total of 1,175,554 beneficiaries for the program this year, of which 657,906 are in Grade 11 while 517,648 are in Grade 12.
Under the DepEd's 2021 budget, P13.692 billion was allocated for the voucher program, but Sevilla clarified that this covered the second semester of SY 2020-2021 and first semester of SY 2021-2022.
In case the number of beneficiaries in the next SY exceed the DepEd's projection, this "will not also be a problem because the funding requirement can be covered or shouldered in the next fiscal year budget," Sevilla said.