BACOLOD CITY -- The provincial government of Negros Occidental has set aside PHP28 million this year for the post-graduate scholarships of 1,000 public school teachers in the province.

This was announced by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. after the recent graduation of 186 elementary and high school teachers with doctoral and masteral degrees at the University of St. La Salle (USLS) here.

The scholarship program is being implemented through the Project Flagships to Reach Educational Excellence (FREE).

The province’s partnership with USLS started in 2014 when it signed a memorandum of agreement with the university and the Department of Education (DepEd) to upgrade the teaching skills and knowledge of public school teachers. The end-goal is to improve the scholastic performance of the Negrense schoolchildren.

That year, the provincial government allocated PHP36 million for the masteral and doctoral studies of 1,560 teachers.

Marañon, in a press statement on Thursday, expressed his admiration for the teachers determined to complete their post-graduate studies despite working full-time in school.

He is optimistic the teacher-scholars will apply their learning to improve the scholastic performance of the schoolchildren in Negros Occidental.

In December last year, 1,473 elementary and secondary teachers, who were scholars of Project FREE, graduated with degrees in Masters in Education and Master of Arts in Education at USLS. (PNA)