MARAWI CITY—Back-to-school season starts here this month with a study grant package for students returning to college and even to learners at secondary and grade school levels, thanks to the Lanao Sur Educational Assistance Program.
Classes at lower school levels have fallen behind schedule due to the recent war here and in nearby areas against a Daesh-styled home-grown terror group. College classes reopened from a semester break just in time for the new school year calendar starting in September.
Lanao Sur Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto-Adiong said the provincial government has earmarked local support fund into the LEAP and opened the program to competitive exams for poor-and-deserving students among families displaced by the recent war.
To the Maranaos, there’s nothing like education. Lanao del Sur hosts in this city the main campus of the Mindanao State University, the island’s biggest state learning institution.
In one of his seven visits at the height of the war last year, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said, “only those who understand how much we care for the future of the Moro youth will understand why we have to wage this war even at the cost of the lives of the soldiers dying.”
Awarding of financial study grant continued Sunday from last week for 1,184 students of different public and private schools, who passed the LEAP exams, said Jennie Alonto Tamano, head of the Provincial Public Information Office.
Tamano said 724 elementary pupils passed, while 275 high school learners and 185 college students have made it to the LEAP financial study grant competitive exams.
College students each received P2,000 in monthly financial study grant paid retroactively from October, the weeks after the second semester classes began. Also receiving three months each of P1,000 monthly stipend were 275 high school students and P 500 monthly each for three months to 724 elementary pupils.
Alonto Adiong said the LEAP forms part of the Seven-Point Agenda of her administration to directly provide financial grant support for education of children born and raised among poor families.
“The program is also envisioned to protect our children from some scheming recruitment advanced by extremist groups in the guise of offering them overseas scholarship program,” she said.