Loyola College in Palawan - Philippines
Prior to reaching its current status, Loyola College of Culion had undergone a series of changes. According to documents and records, the school was established in 1939 as Culion Catholic Primary School. At that time, it was designed to provide education for women lepers called, Hijas de Maria. The students stayed in a government dormitory, which served as the first classrooms as well.
Recognized as the first private educational school in Culion, Culion Catholic Primary School was constructed under the supervision of the Society of Jesus. In 1948, it became a full-pledged co-educational institution offering grade school. Still it remained exclusively for leprosy victims. With the passing of the Liberalization Law for Lepers in the middle of the 1950s, the school opened its doors to everyone.
Since there was a demand for quality learning, the school began to offer secondary education and changed its name to St. Ignatius High School from 1951 to 1955. Seven years later, it changed its name to St. Ignatius Academy. With its thrust of developing and uplifting the education of the people of Culion as well as the natives and inhabitants of its surrounding communities, St. Ignatius College became the pioneer and sole private college in Culion. Eventually it became Loyola College of Culion.
With the help of the Local Government of Culion and the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, the Society of Jesus Philippine Province has been successful in establishing a total and complete educational institution in Culion which has resulted to reduced illiteracy and ignorance of the constituents.
While leprosy in the region has been completely eradicated, there is still a social stigma. Most of the people in the municipality are poor and rely on fishing and farming. Loyola College of Culion is consistent in its drive to subsidize the education of majority of its poor inhabitants as well as its neighboring islands and municipalities.
From 2008 2009, the school had a total student population of 554, 218, and 74 in grade school, high school, and college, respectively. Its continuous operation, however, depends on the subsidy it receives from the SJ-Philippine Province and ANESVAD. Seventy percent of the tuition fee of the students is subsidized with 60 percent coming from ANESVAD and 10% from the Jesuits.
Aside from that, four out of every ten students have scholarships from different agencies on top of the subsidy already provided by the ANESVAD and the Jesuits. With its rich natural resources, Culion as well as Calamianes is being developed as a tourist spot. The education of Culion can make a difference in the protection from abuse of the dignity and natural heritage of the people.