ARTECHE, Eastern Samar– The establishment of Eastern Samar State University (ESSU) – Arteche Campus, this town has provided significant opportunities for less fortunate parents to send their children to college, helping them secure better job prospects after graduation.

“Education should not only be free but must also be accessible, especially to less fortunate families,” said Arteche Mayor Roland Boie Evardone during the groundbreaking ceremony of two additional facilities at the ESSU-Arteche campus on Saturday (June 8).

ESSU-Arteche was established in 2018 after the local government presented the need for an extension campus to the Board of Regents of ESSU and the Commission on Higher Education.

ESSU-Arteche is the only state university in the municipality, about 120 kms away from the provincial capital of Borongan City.

During the program, Mayor Evardone shared that they fought hard for the establishment of the extension campus after a college student from his town committed suicide in 2016. The student’s parents had advised him to delay his enrollment due to financial difficulties.

Although college education at state universities is already free, students still need funds for necessities like boarding, transportation, food, and school projects.

Jennifer Baje, a solo parent with two children studying at ESSU-Arteche, shared, “This really helps me in sending my children to college because we no longer need to allocate funds for their boarding house.”

Baje, who has no sufficient income, finds it a struggle, making the presence of a tertiary institution in their town a significant help to her family.

ESSU-Arteche offers courses in Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor in Elementary Education, and Bachelor in Secondary Education.

This year, the school produced 53 graduates who successfully passed the licensure examination for teachers, with 25 graduates in Secondary Education and 28 in Elementary Education.

The number of enrollees has grown from 180 in its initial year to more than 800 last year, with expectations to surpass 1,000 enrollees this year, according to ESSU-Arteche administrator Engr. Arnaldo Villalon.

This growth underscores the need for more classrooms to provide a conducive learning environment, with at least 13 additional classrooms needed this school year.

On Saturday, a groundbreaking ceremony for two additional facilities was held, led by 4Ps party-list Rep. and House Minority Floor Leader Marcelino Libanan.

The new facilities include a two-storey academic building worth P21 million that can accommodate 400 students and a two-storey multipurpose building worth P5 million, which will feature a student lounge. These projects are targeted to be completed within four months.

“This facility will provide greater opportunities to ESSU students. By providing them with modern facilities and equipment, we help improve our education system and produce competitive graduates,” Rep. Libanan in his message.

The party-list solon assured the ESSU administration that he will continue to work to secure government funding for additional facilities to ensure the production of quality graduates.